THE UNIVERSITY OF
THE WILMER COLLECTION
OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS
RICHARD H. WILMER, JR.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
f\ I^omagee of t^e Confederacy.
MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
TO THE GALLANT DEAD OF THE ALUMNI OF
THE V. M. I.,
WHO KEPT THEIR FAITH
LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES AS SOLDIERS OF THEIR MOTHER
STATE, IN THE CONFEDERATE WAR OF 1861-65.
TO THOSE WHO FELL IN THEIR CHARGE ON THE
MEMORABLE PLAIN OF NEW MARKET,
The "Boy Soldiers;"
BEARDLESS YET DAUNTLESS;
TO THEM WE BEND IN FAITHFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF
SERVICE, AS GLORIOUS AND UNDYING, AS THOSE
WHO CLASPED THE SHEEPSKIN, THE SINGLE
TOKEN OF THEIR ALMA MATER.
We are growing old, and soon the "taps" will be
sounded for the last of the classes preceding 1861. 'Tis
only a desire to render our homage unto truth, the great
Director of Happiness in this world, that we humbly, most
humbly present this truthful statement to those who may
perchance find these lines. Names may be changed, but
behind every line, truth stands ready to prove every as-
sertion, and prepared to repel every charge of wrong.
May a just God, remembering the woes of the con-
quered, and the pride of the oppressor, give us and our
children a heart to bear our cross, and a memory whereon
shall be engraved the eloquent language of Doctor Cave —
" I am not one of those who, clinging; to the old superstition that the
will of heaven is revealed in the immediate results of trial by combat, fancy-
ing- that right must always be on the side of might, and speak of Appo-
mattox as the judgment of God.
" I do not forget that a Suwaroff triumphed and a Kosciusko fell ; that
a Nero wielded a scepter of empire and a Paul was beheaded; that a Herod
was crowned and a Christ crucified; and instead of accepting the defeat of
the South as a divine verdict against her, I regard it as but another instance
of ' truth on the scaffold and wrong on the throne.'"
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1895.
Reading one day, the " explano-prefatory " of a book
entitled, "In Vinculis," by A. M. Keiley, a Virginia Con-
federate, I saw these words: Through books, newspa-
pers, magazines, military commissions, congressional leg-
islation, proclamations, reports, "novels," so-called, and
histories that are far more romantic, the North is not only
writing the story of the late war, but the character of its
late enemies. A great deal of this, from proclamation up,
we know to be false, but the time has not come, nor does
every one who feels the need, feel the power to do justice.
Each Southern man though, may, and ought to contrib-
ute something to our own story of this war, even though
it be as pure a trifle as this: " The living claim it, and the
inexpressibly loved and honored dead demand it."
And I hope to live to see the day, when the infamous
atrocities of Hunter in the Valley of Virginia will have a
And above all, when the story of that hellish carnival of
lust, and rapine, and outrage, and arson, and murder and
nameless villianies which Yankee poets and magazine
writers euphoniously name, " The great march from the
mountains to the sea," shall be painted with a broad brush
and a free hand, that mankind may shudder again to think
of the crimes committed in the name of " Liberty."
Actuated by just such feelings and motives, I thrust out
into the world, this new born "trifle," to bear all the ills
of a doubting and critical world.
There is not an event of any magnitude mentioned here-
in, that is not critically and historically true. It is need-
less to say that naught is put down here in malice ; the
days of carnage are long past, and no spirit of retribution
exists in the breasts of the unsuccessful, but there is a
spirit implanted in the minds of all true and honorable
men, to know the truth of events, whether detailed in his-
tory or in romance. In no instance, throughout these
pages, is an effort made to exaggerate the deeds of our
enemies, or to insult the dead by false representation; as
an instance, the deeds of Miss F., absolutely perpetrated
during and after the war, if left to our judgment alone,
were far more heinous than those detailed herein.
Ah! me, the forty years since last we met,
Seems to me forty folios, bound and set
By time, the Great Transcriber, on his shelves,
Wherein are written the histories of ourselves.
What tragedies, what comedies are there ;
What joy and grief, what rapture and despair!
What chronicles of triumph and defeat,
Of struggle, and temptation, and retreat;
What records of regrets and doubts and fears!
What pages blotted, blistered by our tears;
What lovely landscapes on the margin shine ;
What sweet angelic faces, what divine,
And holy images of love and trust,
Undimmed by age, unsoiled by damp or dust.
— Longfellow. (Morituri Salutamus).
From Dost to Ashes.
A Romance of the Confederacy
By Geo, P, C. Rumbough,
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS.
Published by the Brown Printing Company.
Copyrighted by the Author
[All Rights Reserved.]
FROM DUST TO ASHES.
It was the 4th day of July, 185 — , when the Corps
of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute at
Lexington stood for the last time, with the gradu-
ating class of that date, on the parade ground,
and, while the last sad, sweet notes of ' ' Auld
Lang Syne" floated upon the air from the in-
struments of Volandt's Band, with tears and
almost a heart-broken voice came the Command-
ant's order, "Break ranks." Then came from
a lusty, cheery voice, "Three cheers for 'Little
Grill ! ' " ( the commandant ) . This was given with
energy and zest, and for the day discipline was
To one among those cadets, who wore a cap-
tain's chevrons, how ominously sounded those
words, ' ' Break ranks ! ' ' For years the barracks
of the Institute had been his home; now his
ranks were broken by command, his home was
broken. To break ranks was to drift far away
from the blue, outlined mountains ; from the ties
of devoted room-mates, not changed for years ;
and, from her who had won the adoration of his
10 From Dust to Ashes.
heart. All, all seemed to be gliding away, as did
the fading tones of that sad "Auld Lang Syne."
Amid the chaff and chattering of elevated
plebean corporals, more modest, but not less ex-
alted sergeants, lieutenants and captains, whose
happiness was tempered with dignity, four room-
mates, including our captain, sauntered quietly
to their double-tower rooms, to lay aside sword,
sash and gun ; to shake off forever the dust of
college, and prepare to step forth a citizen, to do
duty in the great struggle of life, liberty and
pursuit of happiness.
Upon the evening of this day, the great event
of the four seasons, the annual ball of the grad-
uating class was to occur, under the auspices of
our captain, whose taste and energy had given
the walls and ceiling of the Mess Hall the ap-
pearance of a thousand lights, reflecting the col-
ors of every nationality, and dazzling the eyes
of the beauties of many states; but, none more
charming than those of the daughters of the
grand old Commonwealth of Virginia.
It is now the hour of midnight, and three ca-
dets, ( 'apt. Phil Randolph, Lawrence Mayne and
Eobert McKene are engaged in close conver-
sation, apart from others. Speaking in a non-
chalant way, Capt. Randolph remarked, " 1 sup-
pose you two will report progress after the ball?"
With downcast eyes, poor Lawrence answered,
i II §
waNa^r<?Z*P^idm<th 'AY <-^%,>n fteaasr
The Ball. 11
sadly, that he feared that he would have noth-
ing to report "worth mentioning," for be it
remembered, though as true and honest a man
or a soldier as any living being, he is not of the
mould, nor gifted with nature's happy faculties,
to impress or captivate the feminine heart. Im-
agine a young man about twenty-one years of
age, five feet and eleven inches in height, body
flat and angular, a waist too near his shoulders,
and which always enforced an unseemly crease
in his uniform coat near the hips. His ears were
large, his nose long and thin, and a mouth too
broad for his face, and eyes neither blue, black
nor gray, but verging toward hazel, they were
cheerful and expressive; his hair was thin and
straight — too straight. With this faint outline
you have our dolorous friend, Lawrence Mayne.
The brother room-mate, Robt. McKene, was
just the reverse — perfect in figure, stout, strong
and active. His head was crowned with wavy
brown hair, and set with sparkling, laughing
gray eyes. In a cheery, happy manner, which
always characterized the man, he said: "Steady,
Lawrence, a fig for a faint heart in the beginning
of the action; remember old Jack's talk at our
last recitation: 'Remember, gentlemen, when it
becomes necessary and war is declared, and the
sword is drawn, throw away the scabbard.' '
"Don't mind that handsome upstart. I don't
12 From Bust to Ashes.
like his bearing, or his hypocritical familiarity;
that Mr. Van Horton, I mean."
"Oh, Rob, you are always my guardian angel."
u Je suis re que je suis," remarks Lawrence,
"and for better and for worse. I can't hold a
candle to that blarsted fellow ; and moreover, she,
to whom he now talks so earnestly, is from the
same State up north, and there is where the ad-
ditional advantage comes in."
Three ladies are now approaching, each lean-
ing upon the arm of her escort, for the merry
dance has been in full swing for three hours,
and while the musicians are being refreshed, the
couples are promenading to see and be seen.
"Come," was the one word spoken by Cap-
tain Randolph, and with smiles and happy
greetings each swung in upon the unoccupied
side of his respective lady-love. The old adage
of a new broom applies here, and not many steps
are taken before the three room-mates are left
each in the sweet possession of the object of his
affection. We will not weary the reader with a
lengthy description of these young ladies, but
simply say that Captain Randolph was bending
his head low and speaking to a typical southern
beauty, clear complexion, cheeks tinged with
the rich, roseate hue of the peach-bloom, shaded
by hair as dark and glossy as the raven's wing,
and eyes lustrous, beautiful (ravishing) black
A Bevy of Beauties. 13
eyes, with a pliant and petite figure ; as such we
introduce Miss Marguerite Darlington.
With Kobert McKene was the tall, lithe blonde,
the pretty and talented first born of a neighbor-
ing pastor, in whose love he felt secure, each
bound not only by affection's tie, but by a sim-
ilarity of faith, being both communicants of
the same denomination, and as was often said
around the table when books grew tiresome, that
"they were born for one another."
With Lawrence Mayne came the vivacious
little blonde from New York, Miss Sadie Carday,
whose petite form was enhanced by contrast with
her partner. Her head was thrown back,
crowned with innumerable yellow curls, her
piquante face upturned and her blue eyes reflect-
ing those of enraptured Lawrence, smiling and
nodding with that same sweet little ' 'yes, ' ' ' 'yes, ' '
"really," which we had heard so often in our
hours of leisure, when rules were broken and
visits stolen. As we look back now, a feeling
of sad and weary recollection pervades our
The events of that night of music, the dance,
the merry voices of the revellers, are the memo-
ries of happy hours, the glimpses of bright sails,
cloudless skies, a smooth and unruffled sea ; no
sign of storm, of hidden reef nor mountain
billows; no shipwreck, no deeds of bloodshed,
14 From Bust to Ashes.
no thought of grim-visaged war or of sudden
The evening is spent, the lights are extin-
guished, and each room-mate is happy in the
escort of his lady-love home.
The 5th of July finds the coaches all busy in
loading cadets and baggage for a homeward
journey, and our heroes depart, swearing allegi-
ance unalterable and undying; and thus the dust
of college is shaken from their garments, and
left behind forever.
Four years later, a tall, soldierly-looking man
is leaning carelessly against a stanchion of the
guards of one of the floating palaces of the great
Mississippi river; his gaze is fixed upon the
seemingly moving landscape, as the big boat
ploughs its way through the muddy waters. It
is growing towards the close of the day, and a
stillness pervades the hour, only broken by the
escape of steam and the splash of the wheels.
Clad in a hunter's garb, with high-topped boots,
owe would hardly recognize the beau. Captain
Randolph, or him who was one time called the
best dressed man in the western city of M .
It grows late, but still he keeps his place;
there is a step near him ;m<l lie incidentally
turns and meets the gaze of a stranger, bearded
Captain Randolph. 15
like himself. Approaching, he asks, in an in-
sinuating' voice :
"Is this not Captain Randolph, who was so
attentive to the beautiful Marguerite Darlington
at the ball in Lexington a few years ago ! ' '
The answer comes slowly and deliberately:
" I believe it is, sir; but, pardon me, who are
"Well, I took the advantage of your room-
mate, and now I have done the same for you.
Well! well, my beard is my protector, as the
lapse of four years has given me this advantage
— but, in truth, I am the Van Horton, whom
Miss Sadie Carday introduced to yourself and
friends. I am glad to meet you, as I am now
hurrying north from New Orleans. The Crescent
City is a little too warm for my comfort, therm-
ally and politically, and I long for home and a
more congenial condition of politics ; but there
goes the gong; let us sup, and over our cigars
this evening talk of old times and of those to
Seated in the saloon, Van Horton meets the
calm and earnest gaze of Randolph, and abruptly
"What do you think of this firing on Fort
With a coolness born of a spirit of contempt,
engendered four years before, Randolph an-
16 From Bust to Ashes.
swers: "That they meant business, and burnt
Quickly questions Van Horton :
"Oh! but I mean what about the South, and
will Virginia go out?"
"The South," answers Randolph, "I fear
means war. Virginia will be the last to go out,
but afterwards, like her Washington, will be first
in the war."
With the air of one indulging in a speculative
soliloquy, Van Horton adds:
"It looks strange, Randolph; here we are, two
good friends; we have no quarrel; we have
supped at the same table, danced in the same
quadrille, and now we are to make ready to cut
each other's throats; and for what?"
"There you are too hard for me," answers
Randolph. "I claim the right of secession, and
the principle of States' Rights, but the policy of
secession I utterly condemn as the quintessence
of folly. As you Northerners first in everything
weigh the almighty dollar, if you want a cheap
trade, in the cause of humanity, it would take
an incubus from the shoulders of the Southern
slaveholders, and cost millions less in dollars,
and thousands of precious lives, to follow old
England's example, purchase the slave and col-
onize him in his native land."
Stung by the answer, Van Horton retorts, tes-
"But your people have degraded the flag of
our country, and replaced it with another; in
fact, are inaugurating a rebellion, are personally
"Now, stop there," said Randolph, rising up
briskly. "You misrepresent, either from ignor-
ance or from prejudice, and I will not hear it ;
we own no parent government, as Washington
did Great Britain, nor do we call it rebellion to
differ with our brother ; and for the future — "
But here the loud voice of the steamer's whis-
tle, which effectually drowned all efforts at being
heard, checked all conversation, and caused our
disputants to join their fellow-passengers for-
ward of the cabin, where the view of the bluffs
of Fort Pickering and Memphis*, crowned with
its long line of brick houses of business, the tall
spires of its houses of worship and its long blank
walls of ample cotton sheds greeted jdie eyes
already grown tired of the sameness of river
scenery, of sand-bar, snags, sawyers, cotton
fields and fringing willows.
With many bumps, and a river song by the
crew, whose refrain, "Jee rang! oh, ho!" was
given in chorus with a will, and not without
melody, the stage plank is lowered, and the pas-
sengers are now leaving who have Memphis for
18 From Bust to Ashes.
their destination. Slowly going up the bluff,
Van Horton stopped, looked back and greeted
Randolph with the words, "Gayoso, I suppose,
"Yes, answered Randolph, I always stop
there ; the proprietor, Cockrell and his boys are
old friends of mine."
" I shall go there too, remarked Van Horton,
if only to stay long enough to tell you where I
am going, and say good-bye." 1
Oppressed with the companionship of an un-
congenial acquaintance, Randolph rather sneer-
ingly answered :
1 ' Perhaps the thermometer which stood so
high in New Orleans may read a few degrees
higher here, and what is said, had better be de-
livered in transitu."
And as they walked only a few blocks dis-
tance, Randolph learned that Sadie is the affi-
anced of Van Horton; that she has discarded
Laurence Mayne, who even now has been one
of the foremost to enlist in the Confederate
cause, and in her eagerness to vent her patriotic
zeal, has written to her fiance Van Horton to
come back to his native state and enlist in the
ranks of its defenders; and winning glory, to be
rewarded with smiles and affections of his de-
Painless Separation. 19
' l Passengers going north by the Memphis &
Ohio — all aboard!" cries the porter.
u G-ood-bye, Randolph, we may meet again;
who knows, and where!"
And the form of Van Horton disappeared,
and Randolph observed nothing, for his back is
turned to the rattle of the 'bus.
It is a bright, sunny morning, when the young-
day is still lingering to kiss the dews of night ;
the stillness of nature is only broken by the
cock-crow from the lovely valley resting so
peacefully under the shadow of the mountain
spurs which now interpose their heads to the
rising sun, waiting for the day-god's higher
ascent to reveal its sylvan charms, and happy
homes. Near the highway stood a plain but
well-kept cottage; the summer roses had not
all fallen, and the well-kept vines which clung
to the porch, lattice and tree, with potted plants
of fuschia, heliotrope and other hot-house growth
scattered here and there, showed the presence of
refinement and gentle woman's taste.
20 From Dust to Ashes.
An old man sat upon the porch, in gown and
slippers ; a man of eighty years, with bald head,
but above the neck, fringed with hair as white
as snow ; his beard was long and like that of his
head was snow white ; he was seated in a large
rocker, quietly reading his Bible ; his good wife,
a woman of some seventy years of age, as
straight as an arrow, with jet black hair and
features lovely in her old age, with hazel eyes
which beamed love in every glance, stood near.
The family servant, the only one left after
their fallen fortunes and emigration from Vir-
ginia, and a member of the family for forty
years, with bucket in hand, stood at the front
gate, on her way to the spring; but, hearing
horse-hoofs up the road, she stopped and stood
gazing, until a stranger, clad in gray, with his
old blue slouched hat pulled over his eyes, and
mounted upon a horse which looked able to dare
and do what his master's rein and spur directed,
drew up alongside of the gate, and with a gently-
spoken "Whoa!" looked into the old, familiar
face and said :
' l Mammy, is this the way you welcome your
The bucket dropped; Randolph was hauled
from his steed, and with such expressions as
"MyG-od! that I shouldn't know my child!"
was hugged and kissed and thumped in the back
A Colored Mammy. 21
by his good old black mammy, until rescued by
his mother and father, who, in their quiet way,
by gentle effort, came to the rescue, and wel-
comed their boy with smiles and kisses and
With the appearance of the youngest child, a
girl of sweet sixteen, a bright and happy mortal,
with the figure of a goddess and a face to match,
lovely lips and laughing, blue eyes and bonnie,
brown hair — the pet sister of our hero, the clamor
of tongues, inquiring, admiring and wondering,
would have upset and silenced a man of even
sterner stuff than our hero.
''Well, Master Phil, honey! you did fool me
that time sure," says mammy, and off she goes
into one of those stereotyped laughs, that was
as dear to his ears, as it had lingered always in
The good, old hands fondled his hand and
smoothed his hair, and, having caught her
"And, honey, where have you been? What
have you been doing? So tall and straight, with
the same kinky head of my baby boy! "
And while all this is going on the sister is kiss-
ing the cheeks and lips of the soldier brother,
while the aged parents are sitting helplessly
smiling and drinking in the comforting joy
begotten by the unexpected and happy return
22 From Bust to Ashes.
of their boy to their hearts and home. But, ah!
how soon was that joy to be changed to sadness,
by an absence shrouded in the smoke of battle
and poisoned by the raids of ruthless robbers.
" My son," says the father, "I see that you
have on our color, but where is your command
and what is your rank \ ' '
Randolph answers that he is captain on staff
duty, but now on special service to Columbia,
"But, tell me, father, how do you like the
mountains of Tennessee?"
"You understand, my son," answers the old
man, "that this is East Tennessee, and there are
many ignorant mountaineers, who are not pat-
terns of nobility in any sense, and they claim to
be good Confederates, when our troops hold the
country, and are equally positive that they are
good Federals when the Yankees are here ; they
are robbers at heart, and I expect to contribute
to their rapacity, but not without an effort of my
old arms to protect my own ; but tell us of the
news ; we are twelve miles from the railroad, and
news by letters or papers seldom reaches us."
Randolph then proceeds to tell of the battles
around Fredericksburg; of the second Manassas,
of Sharpsburg, the raging and gallant defense
of Fort Sumter, and of Battery Wagner, and the
Randolph Hears News. 23
sinking of the Keokuk, much of which he was
an eye-witness to.
An old soldier of 1812, the eyes of the old
nian kindle, and eagerly he listens to every de-
tail, but even now we can see the quiet look of
the good, old mother; can see the weary eyes,
from whose pupils look a heart more weary, as
she gazes at that never-ending click, click, click
of the knitting-needles, but whose steadfast look
was not there, but far away with her four boys,
following the red battle-flag, one of whom, her
gallant baby boy, was so soon to be brought
home and laid away in a soldier's grave.
"We had the pleasure of a visit the last time
the Yankees were here," says his sister, "from a
Captain Van Horton, and he said that he knew
"I know him," remarked Randolph. "What
of him ?"
"Oh, he came with a lot of tories, negroes,
mountain-cats and Yankees, and one of our
neighbors, hanging on to their troop, wanted to
take my mare, Bessie. Captain Van Horton was
good enough to prevent that. I have Bessie yet,
and the Yankees may get her, but the tories
never. ' '
This sister, we will here inform the reader, had
lately married, and her home was upon a beau-
tiful farm some five miles distant, and midway
2-1 From Bust to Ashes.
between her father's place and the thriving vil-
lage of Gr .
A younger brother was in command of a bat-
talion of cavalry, whose duty it was to patrol this
very section, and, by consequence, the family
was rather a thorn in the side of good Unionists.
Knowing his brother's dashing character, his
handsome appearance, musical genius, and fond-
ness of the society of the ladies v Randolph with-
out hesitation asked, "Is Southey in danger of
capture either by Yankees or by any of the fair
damsels f "
In a moment a cloud descended upon the
group, as his mother calmly raises her eyes and
answers, "That between 'that woman' and Cap-
tain Van Horton, Southey was not in a position
to enjoy either his home or the society of ladies. "
"But who is 'that woman!' and what has Van
Horton to do with it?" interrogates Randolph.
"That woman, my son, is the daughter of the
most honored gentleman of the county, our friend
and neighbor; she is rather handsome, and in-
telligent, but it is all distorted by the intensity
of her venom ; her very being is absorbed with
the one idea of hate and revenge."
"But I pray you tell me, mother, her haunts,"
said Randolph, in mimic fear, "that I may evade
her poisoned shafts; and does she go armed?"
A Woman in the Case. 25
"Do not trifle, niy son; yon know the saying,
that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
"Is that the matter? Who scorned her!" re-
"Your brother, Southey," answers his mother.
"Ah-h-h! There's where the shoe pinches,"
and Randolph relapses into a revery.
Click, click, click, goes the needles, and Ran-
dolph still is silent and in thought.
The day wanes, the soldier currys his horse,
fills his trough with corn and his rack with fod-
der, and then goes to visit his mulatto mammy,
to talk of times in Old Virginia when she bossed
him, in his happy childhood days.
Seated upon her door-step, and enjoying the
smoke from his old briar-root companion, Ran-
"Aunt Rachel, it's rather quiet down here, is
"Well, mostly;" she answers, "but for the
raiders — sometimes the Yankees, sometimes the
robbers, and sometimes the Confederates. Be-
tween the three, we have trouble enough; and
may the good Lord curse the wretches who stole
my grave-clothes, all the most beautiful linen,
all packed up and under my bed, when the
Yankees raided here last, and they stole the lot.
Thank God, old mistress saved her silver; for
your sister Lucy put on a pair of Southey' s
pants and climbed the big tree over the house,
26 From Bust to Ashes.
and tied the things to top boughs and saved
"Aunt Rachel," says Randolph, "tell me
about brother Southey and 'that woman'
mother spoke of, and about a Captain Van Hor-
ton, lately here,"
"Lor' honey, (with a chuckle) it is such a
mix. You see 'that woman' is Miss F ,
(you know her, of course you do), she is dead
in love with Major Southey, and this Captain
Van Horton and Miss F now are very great
friends. You remember that big school-house
in Gr . It is said that Southey unexpectedly
visits that school one day, was seen to leave in
a very few moments, mount his horse and ride
away like the wind. You know what a horse-
man he is; always at home on a horse's back.
His troop passed some weeks later and he re-
fused to recognize or return the salutation of Miss
F , and ordered your sister never to recog-
nize her. Now, honey, you know it all. And
oh, that woman's tongue! Since then she has
circulated the lie that Southey was a coward!"
"No, it cannot be that the daughter of so
good a father would stoop to slander," says
"Yes, son, it is even so ; but people here don't
mind her lies, nor is she even respected any
more; but abroad where she is not known, it
Over the Hills and Far Away. 27
might hurt, and moreover, she is breaking her
old father's heart."
Let us say right here, for the benefit of those
who might expect the negro dialect, that Rachel
is a true character, raised in the dwelling-house
of her white people, partaking of their manners,
customs and language, and in pride of family
and respectful conduct would set a bright ex-
ample for many of her unasked, unwanted and
over-zealous sympathizers .
After along and pleasant chat, Randolph rises.
With a kindly "good-night, and may God bless
you child," the old mammy closes her door, and
Randolph retires to his room, thoughtful, sad,
weary of body and of mind.
Two more days with the loved ones, and at
early dawn of the fourth day he is mounted on
the back of his gallant old charger, and with
the warm kisses of affection still clinging to his
lips, and the fervent prayer for God's good
guidance on his journey of all the household,
Randolph turns his horse's head towards the
road, crosses the mountain, and directs his
course up the romantic valley of the French
Broad, intending to strike the railroad at Green-
ville, South Carolina. As he journeyed, trouble-
some thoughts of the loved ones at home
and "thatwoman," would crowd upon his mind,
bringing worry and anxiety, and as the sequel
proved, not without cause.
From Dust to Ashes.
Columbia, South Carolina, was duly reached,
and after a stay of two weeks, Randolph, with
one hundred and fifty men, detailed from the
camp near the city, bid adieu to the city and
took the cars en route to the Army of Northern
Virginia, then encamped around Fredericksburg,
facing the army of General Hooker of Chancel-
lorsville fame, and yclept Fighting Joe. Re-
porting to his chief, he was once again with his
brother staff officers, exchanging the news of
the trip for the gossip of the camp.
The long, lazy body of Captain Noble, a
member of the staff, is observed to move, and
with a half-awakened ' ' Hello ! " he chants his
thoughts : " Lo ! the lost sheep is gathered to
its flock, and the shepherd rejoiceth, beholding
the contents of his well-filled haversack, which
the children of Jacobaster hath swung upon his
neck. Say, Randolph, did you not remember our
bowels, nor have compassion for the same, nor
even remember in the days of thy youth and
painful verdancy that tjie juice of corn — yea,
even of the peach or apple, would please our
palates, and cause our hearts to leap for joy?"
11 Come, Noble," answers Randolph, " the sun
may be held accountable for many changes in
Welcome to the " Grub-Box." 29
nature, but I can swear that he never painted
your nose, nor can even the shadow of his
friendly eclipse hide its roseate shame. You
bear the evidence of your own conviction of
living too high, both in meat and drink."
Noble shuts his eyes and groans out in mock
agony: '-'He is lost! lost! gone clean astray;
been 'living too high,' and judges his betters by
himself; " and quickly sitting up, he says, "I will
bet the mess five to one that Randolph is fixed ;
that he has a box and something good com-
ing; open up the game, old boy, or I will give
you away, for I am the possessor of a message
for you from a — a — now who do you suppose! 77
" I know your propensity for schemes, 77 an-
swers Randolph ; ' 'play honest, Noble, for I never
liked the word ' bribery. 7 77
"My most obtusely verdant youth, and auto-
crat of the grub-box, keep on in the error of thy
ways, the fool is wise in his own conceit, and
when thou coolest, I will hearken unto thee ; and,
further, I have taken charge, have concealed,
and preserved, one sweet, little missive from a
small village called Lexington, where thou did 7 st
strut and perspire, with sword and sash and a
high cock 7 s feathers, as a valiant captain of Com-
pany B, 77 and Noble, with a grand assumption
of dignity and nonchalance, quietly subsides.
"I surrender, 77 said Randolph; "come fel-
30 From Dust to Ashes.
lows, all hands ; I have a box, and in it a present
of magnificent French brandy, just through the
blockade, the pure stuff; it was given me by
that generous patriot, Mr. Wagner, of the firm
of Trenholm & Co., of Charleston, S. C. ; he
gave me, also, this elegant suit while in Col-
umbia," and while the staff enjoyed, the well-
filled box of luxuries, Eandolph read the follow-
" Lexington, Va., March 10, 186—.
"Dear Captain: With all our woes, none seem so hard
to bear as the suffering of our dear friends.
" You remember that on the 25th ult. your room-mate,
Robert McKene, was to have been married to his long-
loved sweetheart, Miss S . News has reached us that
he was killed at the head of his men, cheering them to re-
pel a surprise. I know that you loved him well, for he was
so true and brave, yet so gentle, and for this I suffer more,
because I know how your heart will bleed. Poor Miss
S is almost distracted with grief. May a merciful God
bring comfort to a stricken heart, and teach her to trust to
"Can you come and see us? We will be so happy to look
upon your face once more.
"Wishing you all manner of good fortune in battle and
in camp, I am, as ever, Your affectionate
The first one of the three shot dead! The
noise of the mess fell discordantly upon his ears ;
but with the sweet words of his best loved before
his eyes, his mind was in part withdrawn from
the contemplation of the loss of his friend, and
News of the First Killed. 31
just then the deep, sullen roar of a piece of artil-
lery, as its echoing sound faintly died away,
brought vividly to his mind the fact that they
were soldiers, and a soldier had but to die when
With a heavy heart he joined the mess, and
filling his glass, he turned to his brother officers,
and with eyes bedimmed with tears, and a heart
too full for utterance, he drank to the last drop
in the glass.
"Did she saw you off, old boy!" questions
"Read!" answers Randolph, as he threw the
note in their midst.
After reading, it was remarked by several that
they were aware of the fact, many days before ;
that it was but the fate of war: "One of us
may go to-morrow, still the army will march and
counter-march, the flags will flutter as merrily
in the breeze, and the war will go on all the
same, and the dead forgotten."
So they descant upon the news, until the
cheery voice of Captain Noble is heard saying :
"Cheer up, old man; you don't smoke, we
do, so we'll destroy your weeds, while you im-
bibe. Attention! fill up, let joy abound! And
now, Randolph, I will give you the promised
message. Your friend, Lawrence Mayne, rode
over from the 11th Virginia, and joined us in
32 From Dust to Ashes.
our magnificent repast — menu: bread, coffee,
meat. He wanted to see you bad, real bad; he
seemed to be rather in the dumps, you know the
dumps — upset, as it were. He says that he
wants you to send a courier over to him to
notify him as soon as you arrive. Now, save
him a wee drop of that French soothing syrup,
and you brace him up and save his soul."
And with like chaff of the mess, the evening
passes away, and one by one each rolls down
his blanket, and the sullen boom of a Yankee
gun, now and then, only mars the stillness of
the night, but fails to disturb the slumbers of
the staff around the tent of Cfeneral R .
The next day dawns brightly, and as soon as
breakfast is finished a courier is sent to the
camp of General G , with the " Compliments
of Captain Randolph, and would Adjutant
Mayne please call at the headquarters of Gen-
eral R ?"
The bugle was just sounding the dinner call
when Adjutant Mayne entered .Randolph's tent,
with a smile upon his face, but oh! the sadness
of that smile. Extending his hand, he says:
u Welcome! and the lost is found, and now
we will kill the fatted calf, call in our gray-
backed cherubs, and let us make merry. Tell
us first the news of home, and of Marguerite;
did you see her?"
Mayne Tells What He Knows. 33
"No, indeed," answers Randolph; "Cupid
hides his bow when Mars issues his stern com-
mands. Of home I am troubled."
Adjutant Mayne, speaking slowly, if not sadly,
1 1 When you mentioned trouble I am reminded
of the object of my visit, perhaps to further bur-
den you. Hooker is across the river; our scouts
tell us of the massing of men, as if the whole
Yankee nation, with Europe, Asia and Africa
to aid them, was enclosing us poor, hungry and
ragged few in its embrace ; and before we l mix '
with them I want to talk with you, as we did
when 'rats' in old No. 17 at the V. M. I."
"G-o on, Lawrence; I am all attention," an-
Mayne asks: "Do you remember that fellow
Randolph nods affirmatively.
"Well," continues Mayne, "that man is not
of this country at all, but a miserable importa-
tion from Europe, and is both robber and spy;
under the garb of a Federal captain when play-
ing soldier, and Mr. Hobson as spy."
"Really, you astonish me!" answers Ran-
dolph. "Where do you get your information?"
"An exchanged prisoner brought me a note
from dear little Sadie," answers the adjutant,
telling me of the impostor and scoundrel ; that
34 From Dust to Aslies.
her father, knowing his disreputable character,
has requested his absence from his house, and
that she had admired his fine appearance, but
never loved, and now despised him; that she
was my own littte sweetheart, and by the help of
friends and gold, was coming down to the home
of Marguerite to be in easy reach, where I could
visit her when duty allowed. Now, isn't that
u Yes, it is delighful," answers Randolph,
' ' but what has that to do with the long face that
you are wearing! "
1 l Oh ! now you have me ; it is so good of her,
the sweet little Yankee darling, to leave home
and friends, and come away here in this starving
country, for what! Only to see me. It is so
much happiness, that it seems unnatural, and it
oppresses me, and I fear, yes and even tremble
lest I shall lose it."
After thus speaking, Adjutant Mayne seems
absorbed in gloomy forebodings.
" Look here, Mayne," says Randolph, "you
are dyspeptic." Noble, and all the mess in fact,
foresaw the need of a tonic, and the same is
now provided, and by the help of my right
bower, the Jack of Spades, we will proceed to
test the efficacy of the dose. " Here Jack, you
black rascal ! " (a trim young negro appears);
"bring fresh water and two glasses. Now,
Pelham Appears. 35
Lawrence, here's a health to all good lassies,
and our's especially; down she goes."
"Randolph, do yon ever see the dark side of
anything ? ' '
"The clown must keep the audience merry, if
his darling babe lies at home dying in its
mother's arms," answers Randolph : "and I ad-
vise you further to brace up, and if fortune or
misfortune puts the robber or spy into our pos-
session, we will not have to look very far for a
As the word "halter" is spoken, a small and
slender young man, with a bright face, with light
hair, and dressed in the uniform of an artillery
officer, suddenly appears before the two speakers,
and curtly asks: "Who wants a halter? I have
plenty for such work, and may have use for less
in a day or two."
The speaker is Captain Pelham, already known
to fame, and an ex-cadet of the V. M. I.
"Why," says Randolph, "what's up?"
"Don't you know," goes on Pelham, "that
Hooker has crossed the river, both the Rapidan
and Rappahannock, and is in Chancellorsville,
and is fortifying ? I saw Old Stonewall and Massa
Bob hobnobbing awhile ago, and we'll hear the
music of the brass band before many hours.
You both are in it, for yon both are with Rodes,
and he and Stonewall are too much alike not to
36 From Bust to Ashes.
be first in the fray. But I am in a hurry; just
stopped in to give you a hint. Load up."
"We have, in another way, and have a charge
for you. Come, stand in, and here's to victory ! ' '
This announcement put an end to further con-
versation, and the friends separate in quest of
further news. Pelham goes straight to meet
Averill at Kelly's Ford and drive him back, and
then to give up his young life, a sacrifice upon
the altar of his country on that memorable 17th
day of March, 1863.
The days roll by, but now all is bustle and
hurry ; the couriers flash by on errands of haste ;
long lines of veterans clad in gray, with bayonets
glistening in the sun, stand in readiness for the
conflict ; now and then is heard the sharp report
of the picket as he cautiously feels the way for
the masses in blue behind him, and high above
all is the roar of the big guns ; for on this 29th
day of April, 20,000 Federal troops have crossed
the Rappahannock River, and now threaten the
right and rear of Lee's army at Hamilton's
Crossing. This effort at a diversion falls a flat
failure, for Lee well knows that the bulk of the
Yankee army is at Chancellorsville and well en-
If it was the inspiration of Hooker to attract
attention to the Confederate right, and then to
move out of his fortified stronghold upon Lee's
Chancellors ville. 37
left, and to double up his army and crush it, or
drive it into the river by the sheer force of his
masses, perhaps, acting upon the old maxim,
similia similibus cwantur, caused Lee to put into
execution the tactics so feebly undertaken by his
Leaving one division of Jackson's corps to
watch the movement of the 20,000 under G-eneral
Sedgewick, Lee hurries with Jackson, who, mov-
ing the three remaining divisions of his corps,
namely: Rodes, A. P. Hill and Colston, which
joining Anderson, already at the Tabernacle
Church, five miles from Chancellorsville, pro-
ceed to "attack and repulse the enemy," as per
order of the Commander-in-Chief.
Anderson with his command, as gallant and
true and steady as the Old G-uard of Napoleon,
deploy with their faces towards Chancellorsville,
and sweep forward to meet the trained regulars
of the United States army, under Sykes, and
force them back, with all their vaunted prowess,
to the music of that "rebel yell" which had
quickened the pulses and oftener the heels of the
blue-coated soldiery, from the First Manassas
down to the present time.
Jackson, throwing forward to Anderson's re-
lief the four brigades of Lane, Heth, Ramsour
and McGrowau, continued to press the enemy
back until reaching the enemy's first line of in-
38 From Dust to Ashes.
trenchments, which had been masked until
reached, owing to the density of the growth of
timber ; and finding the day far spent, a halt was
called, and the army was bivouacked about two
miles from Chancellorsville. In the short time
the Federal forces had occupied Chancellorsville
they had shown an activity, energy and enter-
prise, thoroughly in keeping with their universal-
ly accorded reputation of go-aheadativeness, but
betraying by their beaver-like energy of turning
up the earth, felling trees, planting abattis, etc.,
that "protection" was the desideratum, and the
cutting off of Lee's retreat when so ceremo-
niously "bagged," the airy dream of a newly
fledged "Correspondent. ' '
Many a jolly Confederate veteran wondered at
the magnitude of labor performed by soldiers
who had the world to feed them, and the world
to replenish their shattered ranks. To cut off
the line of Confederate retreat, General Hooker
had very thoughtfully, for the emergency Df an as-
sault from the direction of Fredericksburg, by a
double line of works in the shape of two sides of a
rectangle, one side running north and south and
facing Fredericksburg, and crossing the main road
between the two places, and the other side perpen-
dicular to it facing south, with front to the
timber called The Wilderness, and its rear parallel
to the river. In a council of war it was decided
Chancellor sville. 39
upon, on the part of the Confederates, that by
reason of the impregnability of Hooker's posi-
tion and the disparity of forces, a front attack
should be abandoned, and more especially from
motives of humanity.
But a man was there who never turned his
back when a fight was on, and Stonewall Jack-
son, the stern old warrior, whose frown was a
volume of reproof, and whose smile stole the
heart and cheered the soul as a rift of sunshine
through the clouds of despair, was the man to
solve the problem.
A narrow, crooked and unkept by-road de-
bouched to the left, hedged in by an interminable
growth of vines, pines and scrub-oak, winding
westwardly, then northerly, then westwardly
again till the old Brock road is reached. By this
route and a night march the Man of Menassas
proposed to flank the Federal Hooker and solve
the problem of "cutting off a line of retreat."
Thus, while one portion of the army under Lee
slept, Jackson at break of day, with Eodes in
front, followed by A. P. Hill's and Colston's di-
visions, was on the inarch through the thicket
of The "Wilderness, with the accompaniment only
of their own foot-falls, and the melancholy calls
of the whip-poor-wills, who seem to have espe-
cially colonized this gloomy thicket.
Arriving at the Furnace, and while placing a
■40 From Bust to Ashes.
regiment in position to guard an approach from
a by-road from Chancellorsville to that point, our
old friend Randolph meets Adjutant Mayne, and
after greetings they were discussing the chances
of the hazardous movement, when their atten-
tion is suddenly attracted to a courier, who, dash-
ing up, hands General Jackson a note, and with
cap in hand awaits his orders.
" That's General Stuart's courier," says Ran-
dolph, " now watch."
The note being read, Jackson raises his head;
there is a kindling of the eye, the faintest trace
of a smile, and a curt, "Thanks, my compli-
ments to General Stuart; that will do sir."
And replacing his cap, the courier rides back
to his command.
"Ah! ha! see that!" says Randolph, "you
know old Jack too long to be unable to read the
answer to the question ; if we don't give them a
1 side wipe ' after Jackson's most improved style 7
I'm a tinker." And now having reached the
Brock road, they make better progress, and
coming in sight of the cavalry, they passed
Jackson and Stuart on an elevation, glasses in
hand, examining the enemy's right flank and
Knowing that every man now should be at his
post, Randolph bids his old friend "au revoir,"
and jestingly adds, "we'll drive them across the
The Bout. 41
creek and win a furlough, and then we'll go to-
gether to see — you know who, my lad. The
Lord be with you."
Adjutant Mayne, looking him steadily in the
face, with a solemnity as unusual as it was in-
expressible, simply answered, "Amen!"
And now the time is come. Rodes' division
is deployed; six hundred feet behind comes A.
P. Hill's, a similar space is Colston's division,
both the latter in column. As fast as the men
can penetrate the thicket they advance upon the
unsuspecting troops of the Federal left flank.
At fifteen minutes past 5 o'clock Jackson let
slip his dogs of war, and if the eager hunter
chased faster or a more demoralized quarry, he
or they are entitled to the blue ribbon, over all
past and present lovers of the chase.
The men of Rodes burst upon the unsuspi-
cious German troops of Howard, the noted Elev-
enth Corps of Sigel, who incontinently lost their
suppers, and with the joyous u rebel yell," and
the quickning crash of musketry and artillery,
so utterly disorganized and demoralized were
they, that losing their heads, they rushed head-
long to the rear, crashing into trees, reckless of
everything in front, but determined to flee from
the wrath behind.
Soon Hill and Colston came up, to add to the
enthusiasm, and all went over the enemy's
42 From Bust to Ashes.
works, carrying confusion badly confounded to
the flying Dutch ; and now mingled with the rush
of men, were the maddened rush of riderless and
uncontrolled horses, battery wagons, ambu-
lances, gun-carriages, caissons — some flying,
some overturned, many poor brutes in harness
struggling in the helpless agony of death, either
by shot or collision — all, all one inextricable
mass of frightened men and brutes.
Whole regiments ran without firing a gun,
throwing away their guns to facilitate their
speed; madly seeking safety from the wrath of
the yelling Reb.
Batteries, in their mad haste, crashed against
tree or stump, were captured, and turned upon
the fleeing mob.
Who could paint with pen or brush the awful
stampede of that day, so as to portray to the
man of to-day the awful terror of the fleeing,
and the reckless chase for life and safety.
On, on came the yelling Confederates, plant-
ing their volleys upon the backs of flying men,
even in solid column.
With the incessant volleys of Confederate
musketry, men, horses, wagons and all the par-
aphernalia of war were jumbled into such an
inextricable confusion that it seemed a panorama
of pandemonium, upon the fields of Hades,
with all the aroma of its sulphurous canopy. In
■1 ' to
H ■ o
Vf — i
-- 5 ■■-:>• _j
Mayne Falls with Jackson. 43
a word, as expressed by a Northern writer, " the
stampede was universal, the disgrace general."
Until 8 o'clock p. m. the route continued to a
point, where a ridge was occupied, one-half mile
from Hooker's stronghold at the Chancellor
Our two young officers, whom we left about
to go into action from the Brock road, were
with their respective commands, and though
going into the battle in different divisions, found
themselves together again, by the intermingling
of the different commands, being so intent in
their enthusiasm, that discipline gave place to
ardor, and for this intermingling, together with
the darkness, a halt was called.
If Jackson, like Joshua of old, could have
called a halt of the sun for two short hours, the
Sixteenth Army Corps of Hooker would have
had a shorter and a different history to record.
Our young friends met cordially, and were
exchanging the commonplace greetings and con-
gratulations of so successful a move, when
Mayne was called away to carry a message to
G-eneral Jackson. In the gloom of the trees, he
was pointed out the direction of his search, and
after many pulls and rubs of vines and boughs,
he came near the person of the General, when,
without any warning, or aDy conceivable object,
the gloom lighted up with a heavy volley fired
44 From Bust to Ashes.
from the Confederate infantry. Adjutant Mayne
fell badly wounded, with him many others, and
oh ! sad day for the Confederacy, he, the idol
of the army, at last lay crushed by the rifles of
his own troops !
The pride of a glorious victory vanished from
the white faces of his gallant men, and oh ! the
wail that went up from the hearts of soldiers,
and from thousands at the hearths of their
With the left arm of Jackson went the strength
of the right arm of Lee ; with his life went the
hopes of thousands for future success ; but with
his life as he spent it, his deeds as he wrought
them, his patriotism, piety and glory, all will
stand out in history, in all time, as a shining
example of virtue, honor and heroism.
At dawn the next morning, Bob, the darkey
henchman of Mayne, came to Randolph at the
outposts, and with tears and lamentations, tells
him that his master's horse was caught with
bloody saddle, and that he was now hitched near
the hospital at the intersection of the old turn-
pike and the Grermania plank road; that no
one would answer him, and that he " knowed
Sending the boy back to the hospital, Ran-
dolph followed with many misgivings. As he
rode back over the field, hundreds of dead bodies
Bob Finds the Wounded. 45
of men and horses encumbered the ground, lit-
erally strewed with every appliance of war,
which could be supplied by a government en-
riched by a war of oppression and plunder.
His mind oppressed with unwelcome thoughts,
Randolph found himself involuntarily repeating
that parting word, Amen ; and lifting his eyes
discovered the ubiquitous Bob running towards
him, and with a sickly display of white teeth,
saying: u I found him, sir! hurt bad and wants
you. I told him you was a-coming."
Arriving at the hospital, Bob takes his horse,
and Randolph enters a shed-room near where
Jackson lies in mortal agony.
Upon an improvised bed, made of straw, and
covered with an army blanket, Randolph finds
his comrade ; his &ale face with closed eyes, his
blood-stained uniform meet his gaze. Approach-
ing closer he tenderly lifts the hand of Mayne,
when their eyes meet in mutual love and sym-
pathy; no words pass their lips, only a gentle
pressure of the hands, and the stillness is only
interrupted by the gentle tread of the surgeons
and their assistants hurriedly attending their
anxiously awaiting patients. The services of the
surgeon performed, he administers a simple nar-
cotic, and the frown begotten of pain slowly dis-
appears from the patient's face, and sweet sleep,
now so near the cousin of death, clasps the sol-
46 From Bust to Ashes.
dier in its dreamy embrace. While Randolph
gently bathes his feverish brow and moistens his
lips, the surgeon tells him that Mayne's wounds
bear the signature and seal of Death ; that they
are beyond the control of a surgeon's art.
Sleep brings life a short reprieve, and the suf-
ferer asks to telegraph to Lexington and see if
Sadie had come, and if so, to come without de-
lay to Fredericksburg, to the old Marye mansion,
to which he begs to be taken. The surgeon
makes no objection, and Randolph hurries away
Returning eastwardly, he finds Hooker beaten
back across the Rappahannock, the woods still
smoking, where the wounded and the dead were
caught in its cruel grasp on the day succeeding
Jackson's wound, and pushing on, found Lee
driving Sedgwick back in confusion across his
pontoons at Banks' Ford ; and in a gloomy rain
sat himself down to await the answer to his dis-
After long, weary hours the welcome message
came : "Lexington, May 7, 1863.
il Capt. Phil. Randolph,
"Care Gen. R. E. R., Fredericksburg, Va.:
"We start immediately: meet us at train.
Mounting his horse, Randolph returns with an
ambulance, and twelve hours later his friend is,
after a tedious trip, resting in the house whose
Old Marye Mansion. 47
name is a synonym of valor and virtue in the
home circles of Fredericksburg and in the com-
mand in which the name has served.
In the quietness of the evening, the old Marye
mansion looks over the town, now rent and torn
by shot and shell, but within its walls, there
hovers a spirit whose restlessness, expressed in
long drawn sighs, quick and eager scanning of
the door, tell of an unquietness born of a knowl-
edge that certain things have a certain limit, and
that limit is final and unalterable.
Trains have a schedule, but "military neces-
sity" side-tracks and holdovers disorder the best
regulated ; and after hours of impatient waiting,
inquiries unnoticed, or unanswered, a long whis-
tle is heard, and a train comes in with its wheezy,
overworked engine. But horror of horrors! in
the box cars are huddled infantrymen, whose
heads are poked out of every available hole, and
who chaff every one without regard to color, rank
or previous condition.
About to turn away in despair, two ladies are
observed to step from a rear coach, which is at-
tached for the accommodation of the commis-
sioned officers, and a figure but too well known
not to be identified at such a distance, causes
Captain Randolph to hasten to their side, if not
to comfort, at least to lessen the weight of
48 From Bust to Ashes.
Little is said, but Randolph in his effort to
gently prepare Sadie for the meeting desired, by
tone and action betrays his knowledge, but his
strong arm supports the drooping form till the
threshold is passed and the outstretched arms of
poor Mayne clasp the form of her he had loved so
long and well, and the little head, still crowned
with the wealth of sunny curls, is hidden on his
neck, and with throbbing heart and aching tem-
ples she pours out her thoughts in a torrent of
"Tut, tut!" interposes good Doctor Murdock :
"don't murder my patient with kindness. Come,
ladies ; I am prepared for you ; I know that you
are hungry and tired. Let your maid bring
your sachels. A little rest for you and my pa-
tient, and upon good behavior you shall have
him all to yourselves."
With a happy smile, Mayne, growing steadily
weaker, sinks into a profound slumber, and as
Randolph sits by his side, with the faithful Bob,
he watches and notes the ominous, faint, quick
breathing, and as night creeps on he discovers
by the mantel clock that it is past the hour of
midnight ; that Bob is dead asleep, and that he
is almost nodding. The faintest sound of a
footstep startles him. Was he dreaming? But
drifting again toward dreamland, again he is
aroused as if by the opening of a door. Feeling
The Somnambulist. 49
no anxiety, his pistols being near by upon the
table at his side, he picked up a book, and had
just opened to read, when again he surely heard
a door open. Looking over the book — was he
dreaming, or was it a spirit! Neither; for there
stood Sadie, clad in a robe of soft blue material,
with cuffs and neck trimmed with narrow lace,
the beautiful neck exposed, clear and white as
marble. She moved toward the wounded man
softly with her slippered feet, her eyes wide open,
but bent upon the floor. Grently kneeling by the
bedside of her lover, .she clasped her hands, and
bent her head, in the position of earnest, heart-
broken supplication; the lips moved, but no
word escaped the lips. Suddenly the maid hast-
ily entered, and took the sleeper in her arms as
a mother would her babe and disappeared, leav-
ing Randolph still wondering and alone with his
The door had scarcely closed behind the
women, when an opposite door, opening upon
the main hall, was gently opened and a man,
seemingly of middle age, in the garb of an ordi-
nary countryman, stood before Randolph. With
a nod and a scrape of the foot he remarked that
he " supposed this a tavern."
"You will correct your supposition by retiring
immediately," Randolph remarked.
"Well," he answered, "curiosity will git the
50 From Dust to Ashes.
advantage of folks; but, I thought that I might
find some acquaintances ; and, stranger, it 'pears
like Iknowed you, and might know your folks."
Fearing that he would awaken the sleeper,
Randolph advanced towards the intruder un-
armed, and when near enough to lay his hand
upon him, the stranger quietly placed the muzzle
of a revolver to his head, saying: "I am Mr.
Van Horton, at your service. I came up on the
same train with Sadie. As Mayne is dying, I
will not kill him. I will remember you to your
brother, whom I shall meet," and with a curse
for Sadie, backed out into the night, and left
Randolph trembling with rage, and stupefied by
the suddenness of the unwelcome apparition.
Morning broke clear and bright, and early
came the girls, and soon the kind doctor, with
a happy word of comfort for all.
Randolph spoke no word of the night, nor
was the adventure of the sleep-walker men-
Sadie, with all the loving care of a mother,
bathed the face and hands of her lover, smoothed
his hair and softly kissed his lips, and placing
her chair so as to face him, took his hand, clasp-
ing it within her two.
11 Now, tell me, dearest, how you feel?"
" Weaker," he answers; ''notice my voice.
Ah! sweetheart, I dreamed of you last night."
A Last, Sad Goad-Bye. 51
Breathing a long-drawn sigh, he continues:
"We were to be married, when the black face of
Van Horton came between ns; suddenly, Ran-
dolph, indignant at his action, slew him like a
dog; 'twas only a dream; but you were mine,
even for the brief moment."
More faintly, he adds: "Oh! Sadie, if I could
only live to love you, to go back with you to the
old hills of Rockbridge, where we first met, and
where we first learned to love."
Poor Sadie is speechless, and with tearful
eyes and agonized heart, drinks in the words
that may be the last upon earth.
Feverishly, he continues : ' ' You will think of
me, dear, and come to see the sod that covers a
heart always true to one little Yankee worth all
the treasures of earth, and the adoration of a
worthier heart than mine ' ' — and for the first
time he tries to raise up, but, grasping at the
empty air, he groans most sadly. Only a shud-
der, and all is still.
The patient doctor, standing near, bids Sadie
say farewell. Clasping her arm around his neck
with all the reckless abandon of love lost, she
kisses lips, cheek and brow, murmuring: "Grood-
bye, love, good-bye! " until Marguerite, who has
been a suffering but patient witness, leads her
52 From Dust tO Ashes.
A furlough to accompany the dead, enables
Randolph once more to visit his family, now liv-
ing in the village of Gr , already mentioned;
their home having been totally destroyed by tory
robbers. Striking across the mountains, he turns
his horses' head westward. The air is cool, and
the May days are cheerful in the bright gar-
ments of leaf and flowers of Spring, while the
now unlimited birds sweep before and around
him in notes made sweeter, no doubt, from a
sense of greater security from fright and pursuit.
At home on horseback, Randolph rides not hur-
riedly, because next to self — his horse; they
have ate, slept and suffered together; and now
as it grows dark he approaches a neat country
residence, and riding to the gate utters a loud
hallo! and is answered by a female voice, bid-
ding him to alight and come in, with a cordiality
native to Old Virginia.
Observing the lady's sleeves rolled up, and
believing that his arrival had disturbed her, per-
haps in the discharge of some domestic occupa-
tion, Randolph courteously apologized for the
inopportune interruption and begged forgive-
Mr. O'Bowke. 53
ness, when the lady smilingly told him that his
anxiety was wholly unnecessary and uncalled
for, as she was only doctoring one of u Lee's
miserables," and if he wasn't too tired, that he
could come in and help.
Actuated more by curiosity than by any de-
sire to help, Randolph followed the lady to a
room, and there found the object of her atten-
tion. A brawny, manly looking soldier, lay
upon the bed, whose sheets, as white as snow,
made a vivid contrast with the dirty, gray pants,
the old ragged shirt and heelless socks of the
man lying flat upon his face.
A negro man stood near, holding a basin of
water, and the soldier's shirt being split open in
the back, exposed a large bandage pasted to his
back, bloody and dirty from long use — this was
the panorama exhibited Randolph upon entering
" Excuse me, Mr. Ruke," remarks the host-
ess, " I have hastened back as soon as possible."
" 'Tis all right, madam; but pardon me,
O'Rourke is me name, and was the name of me
father before me," and turning his face to one
side and towards Randolph, after a cool survey,
he adds, "Chancellorsville," emphasizing by re-
versing his arm and sticking out his thumb to-
wards the bloody bandage.
As a cavalryman, in a charge under Fitz Lee,
54 From Dust to Ashes.
a fragment of shell had torn a large flesh wound
in his back, which had secured him a furlough,
and he was now on his way home, on Randolph's
The good woman, with much sponging suc-
ceeded in removing the old bandage, and care-
fully cleansing the wound and making the nec-
essary applications, at last pronounced the words
of satisfactory relief and accomplishment,
" there, and don't you feel better?"
"May the blessed angels keep you, lady,"
says O'Rourke. u Howly Mother! it is like a
bird I'm afther failing, and if me shoes had
better soles, I'd dance for your diversion an
Irish jig that would astonish the queen's own
cook; and spaking of the cook, I am not so
tired as I am hungry. Master Bob is a foine
fighter, but as a feeder, he can't draw mutton
where there is no sheep, nor beef where there is
no cattle. And, madam, have you a bit of a
strap, for the cart that I rode up here upon
jolted out the very blood and breath of me body,
and me waistband has grown six inches, or me
waist has shrunk seven, an' galluses I must
have; and by the powers of Howly Mary me
very teeth are loose entirely."
This harangue held the lady in speechless
wonder, and turning to one side, she threw open
the door to the dining-room, displaying a well-
O'JRourke was Hungry. 55
served table, shining invitingly in the light of
Mr. O'Rourke's face was wreathed in smiles,
and so intent was his eyes upon the table that,
not heeding the doorstep, he came near sprawl-
ing upon the floor.
Strange to say, Randolph had stumbled upon
an aunt of Marguerite, as he found out through
Mr. O'Rourke's incessant talk of the late bat-
tle, and the u murtherin scoundrel " who fired
that bloody shell (needless to say the one that
struck Mr. O'Rourke), and knowing the rela-
tions existing between Randolph and her niece,
also of Mayne and Sadie, at her request Ran-
dolph told in detail of the last rites of sepulture
to his deceased friend in the cemetery of his
family in Lynchburg, of the trip with Margue-
rite and Sadie to their home in Rockbridge, and
his short visit, made so by the grief of one and
the sympathy of the other.
After a refreshing rest, on the next day,
O'Rourke having secured an old cavalry Rosin-
ante, Randolph bids his hostess a thankful adieu,
in which O'Rourke joins, with many hopes of
meeting again, without any lessening in the fut-
ure of individual shadows, they once more
O'Rourke proves to be an agreeable compan-
ion and a fearless, dare-devil soldier. In his
56 From Dust to Ashes.
right hand he swings a sturdy hickory stick,
which is a pointer for objects of his notice, a
propeller for his steed, a sabre for the cavalry-
man, and a shillalah for the Son of Erin.
Mr. O'Rourke sings, too, but while his voice
is strong, it is not sweet, and his tunes run from
one line of ' L Lorena ' ' to another in ' i The old
grey hoss come a-rushin' froo de wilderness."
On one occasion the word "Wilderness"
seemed to revive some recollections of Mr.
O'Rourke, and he asks: "And, Cap., do you
mind that bloody bush in The Wilderness? How
in the devil the boys got through it wid their
clothes on? The horse and meself were hung
up, tripped up or down, and I was just enjoying
meself when I felt the stroke in me back."
"Don't repeat that any more, O'Rourke,"
says Randolph; "but tell me, did you leave the
heels of your socks at Chancellorsville!"
"No, begorra; but I left skin enough to patch
them," he answers, laughing loudly and joyously
at his own misfortunes.
Many miles had been ridden, long hours had
passed, and after a profound silence, interrupted
only by the hoof -falls of the horses, O'Rourke
slowly arouses from his seeming apathy, and as
with the sudden birth of an unusual thought,
"And, Captain, is it married you are?"
Two Soldiers on the Road. 57
"lam not so fortunate as yet," he answers.
''But you have a gir-ral, I am after think-
ing," retorts O'Rourke.
''And why do you think so, pray?" asks Ran-
dolph. "Do I sigh and sing love-songs in your
presence, or talk in my sleep?"
k *My experience," says O'Rourke, "about the
sighing and singing is limited, but sure you must
have a slight cross of the Yankee, whin you
make a guess ; for in your slape last night you
called 'Marguerite!' and unless she's your sister,
bedad she must be your gir-rul ; ' ' and a laugh
with the ring and force of true enjoyment fol-
lows the unfolding of the burden of last night's
Unable to control his feelings and his surprise,
and blushing to his brows, Randolph tells him
of his betrothed; and having exhausted his
theme, has unexpectedly excited a feeling of
sympathy in the breast of the sturdy soldier,
which begets a desire upon the part of O'Rourke
to pour into the ears of his superior his own
"I have meself some expariance in the mat-
rimonial market; Oi'm married," drawls
O'Rourke, in a meditative mood.
"Indeed; let me congratulate you — "
"Sh — top, Captain, if yer plase," cries
O'Rourke; "I've a wee bit to tell ye. I was on
58 From Dust to Ashes.
the Aist Tinnessee and Virginny railroad worruk-
in' on a fill in a beautiful valley. Close to our
shanty ould man Dobbins had as swate a little
farrum as iver yer eyes was laid upon. Sure it
was a divarsion to survey the primises; and
afther buthermilk, as an excuse, I wint to the
house, and making noise enough with the help
of the flop-eared house dogs to scare a banshee,
there came to the dure as swate a lass as iver
blessed the eyes of man. I got the buthermilk
and a fluttering under me jacket, and all night
long I dreamed of buthermilk and the darling
Kitty of the Dobbins' house. Howly Moses! I
"My ould folks ran the boarding shanty on
the worruk, close by, and with the hilp of the
ould lady, who was a grate admirer of the farrum,
if the gir-rnl was a Protestant, we were married,
and a jolly jubilee it was. And we were gitting
along pretty well up to the breaking out of the
war. The ould man Dobbins and his wife were
Union, Kitty and I Secesh. Sometimes the
Yankees would overrun us, thin we were all
Union ; thin the Confiderates would swarm upon
us, in that avint we were all Confiderates; it was
the tormint of our lives, but it kept pace in the
family. But worse was to come, and the divil's
own hand in it. Kitty she gits converted. As
long as she was not converted into a nagur or a
O i BowrWs Courtship. 59
Yankee, I didn't moind it. Well, thin, up she
goes and enlists in the Baptist Church, for the
war, I suppose.
"You know, and maybe you don't, but my
folks are Roman Catholics, and I am naythur
Catholic nor Baptist.
"The ould wimmin began it, and the young
ones jined in afther the ould ones got out of
breath entirely. Sure it was religion, the praist
and the parson they were rowing over. The
very bones of me ache whin I think of it.
There was Kitty's Ma and my Ma, and the rest
of the wimmin, and sure it is, I heard more of
infant baptism, immersion, conversion, subver-
sion, falling from grace, of Howly Mary, Father
Riley and Pastor Parker, until I was crazy wid
the talk. I didn't know a divil of a word what
version was best, whether Riley's or Parker's, or
whither it was disgrace or afther grace they were
at ; and for six long wakes it was the tormint of
"Divil of a word I iver said, or they would
have, ivery one of thim, been upon the top of
me back. But for the whisky hid in the straw
they would have been the death of me. But it
was no use; the battle over the infants, the wa-
ter howly and unhowly, got worse and more of
it, till me ould friend, Dennis McKelsey, came
along going to the war, and mounting my horse,
I jined him for Master Bob and the army."
60 From Dust to Ashes.
Having reached a commanding point in the
road, Randolph interrupts further discourse of
O'Rourke, by pointing out in the distance the
steeples and housetops in the village of G ,
Tenn., now only a few miles distant. Soon
Randolph is once more in the arms of his
parents, and enjoying the verbal as well as culi-
nary blessings of Mammy Rachel.
From her he learns that Van Horton has sud-
denly disappeared; "that woman" Miss F — is
reported engaged or married to him, and still
unceasingly annoys and persecutes his brother
with slanderous innuendoes, even worries his in-
nocent sister; and worse still, her maliciousness
has extended to his mother and father ; for the
the fiendish followers of Van Horton drove his
father barefooted in a chill winter night, and
tore down his very dwelling from over the heads
of his wife and daughter, and deliberately fired
upon his aged and defenceless mother. He
learns also that his brother, Southey, came up
with his command and retaliated upon several
of the robber gang, and made things lively for
awhile, and now, like wild animals at bay, they
stand glaring at one another, and Grod only
knows what next will turn up.
Randolph hears enough to make him wish for
peace, for the sake of the old folks at home;
but deep down in his bosom there dwells a desire
for vengeance. How often in this life does it
A Special Providence. 61
appear that a special Providence protects the
designing wretch who is brutally reckless of
every principle of right, of virtue and of honor !
Not many days elapse before Mr. O'Rourke
and Rosinante appear, considerably mended and
improved, and once more, adieu to home and
family and on the road to camp and to duty.
62 From Dust to Ashes.
After a long and tedious journey, our travelers
reach Staunton, where O'Rourke disappears in
search of his command, and Randolph eagerly
seeks his own.
All was bustle and confusion of men in every
style of conveyance, as well as footmen, eagerly
pressing up the Valley, for the Army of North-
ern Virginia has crossed the Potomac, bent upon
the invasion of Yankee soil, hitherto ignorant
of the terrors of war.
Fortunate in finding an ambulance, Randolph
joined Major P , a gallant officer of the ar-
tillery, and rapidly drove to overtake the ad-
Learning that Ewell had crossed the Potomac
at Williamsport, they hurried to that point, and
crossing, saw the first evidences of the advance
righting in the many dead horses scattered upon
the banks of the canal.
After resting their tired horses, they pushed
on to Chambersburg, and passed through the
rear guard, being Pickett's brigade, and found
Col. Stuart, an old V. M. I. professor, in com-
mand of the place. Here, for the first time
Randolph in Chambersbwrg . 63
during the war, Randolph finds and feels him-
self upon the enemy's soil. Soldiers in gray
are scattered over the streets, merely chaffing
some of the young ladies of the place, who, in
the excess of their loyalty, display from their
bosoms miniature specimens of the stars and
Standing at the head of an alley, and in front
of a small two-story brick edifice, over whose
door was written bank, Randolph notes across
the street some of these ladies so decorated
passing through a jolly, loitering group of
Hood's Texans, when a long-suffering Johnnie
observes, rather in the manner of conferring
knowledge for the good and benefit of the deco-
rated, that his command had the unwholesome
reputation of storming breastworks when flying
the Federal flag. No answering reparte came
from the addressed.
No disorder occurred in the village ; no act of
outrage or oppression occurred during Ran-
dolph's stay of sixteen hours.
He has, however, one remembrance of the
head of that alley. Hearing footsteps descend-
ing the stairway of that bank, he turned and
feasted his eyes upon a handsome young lady,
evidently the daughter of an official of the bank ;
but oh! how short-lived his happiness, for with
a toss of her fair, young head, and an ominous
64 From Dust to Ashes.
elevation of the lips and the tip of her nose, she
turned for his view and edification a rear eleva-
tion, which he admired, of course; but from the
lady's pantomimic exhibition, he was left under
a most disagreeable apprehension that it was
either the new gray suit he wore, or the odor of
the naughty joke across the street that caused
the facial disturbance and the sudden disposition
to " about face."
There were no improper liberties taken, nor
unjust indignities imposed upon the citizens,
and Eandolph, in company with one of the best
known and most gallant artillery officers, spent
the night in the straw of a stable-loft upon this
very same alley aforesaid.
On the morning of July 1st he again enters
the ambulance and starts northward, towards
Carlisle, where they proposed to overtake the
command of General Rodes. Going three miles,
they ran into a skirmish between Confederate
cavalry and Yankee home guards. They were
thus turned back to Chambersburg, and drove
thence rapidly on the national pike straight for
About 1 o'clock p. m. they arrived at Cash-
town, and here was found the headquarters train
of Randolph's division.
After greeting his old companions, he rode
out to the main road, where Gettysburg, about
Besting on Their Arms. 65
five miles distant, could be distinctly seen ; the
lines of the contending troops also were plainly
The Federal lines were being driven rapidly
back towards Gettysburg, and Randolph was
again viewing the men of Rodes repeating the
performance of Chancellorsville — chasing the
Eleventh corps of Yankee Dutch hirelings, not
only from the field, but to and through the
streets of Gettysburg.
Night fell, the Confederates victorious at every
point; the Federals broken and disorganized,
their trains driving to the rear, and stragglers
without number going the same way. The men
of Lee, worn out by long marches, laid down
upon their arms and slept.
All night long fresh Federal troops were ar-
riving, and those who had been running turned
back when it was discovered that none pursued.
When morning dawned, the two armies had
about mustered their strength, and were busily
engaged in disposing of batteries and brigades
in designated positions.
The Confederates were disposed as follows:
Ewell's line in and through Gettysburg, extend-
ing east and west and facing south; A. P. Hill
on his right, his line running north and south
on Seminary Ridge and parallel to Willoughby
Run and facing east, with Longstreet on his
66 From Dust to Ashes.
right on the same line, and facing the same
Round Top Mountain, on Longstreet's ex-
treme right, rose like a huge sentinel guarding
the Federal left flank, while the spurs and ridges
trending off: to the north of it afforded unrivalled
positions for the use of artillery.
The puffs of smoke rising at intervals along
the line of hills as the Federal batteries fired
upon such portions of our line as became ex-
posed to view, clearly showed that these advan-
tages had not been neglected.
The thick woods, which in great part covered
the sides of Round Top and the adjacent hills,
concealed from view the rugged nature of the
ground, which increased four-fold the difficulties
of the attack.
Little Round Top was in front of Longstreet's
center, and Devil's Den about a quarter of a
mile nearer to him, and about midway between
Big and Little Round Top.
About 5 o'clock p. m., Longstreet's right
swept forward, and after desperate fighting car-
ried these points — desperate hand-to-hand fight-
ing being displayed on both sides. At the same
time a portion of E well's corps charged the Fed-
eral forces before the cemetery, driving them off
and capturing their guns, and even reaching
Evergreen cemetery, the stronghold of the en-
Heavy Cannonading. 67
emy's right; but for want of co-operation the
movement failed, as did Longstreet's, both fail-
ures being the result more from lack of sufficient
force. Nevertheless, night found the advantage
accruing to Lee's army, with Ewell in statu quo,
and Longstreet and Hill closed up on the Fed-
eral left. Another night to add to a position
naturally strong, to add to their force and re-
plenish their munitions of war, and Lee many
miles from his base of supplies and with nearly
But there was one thing which could be truly
said without boasting — that the Army of North-
ern Virginia knew how to fight and die, but they
knew not what it was to be whipped.
The next day, the 3d of July, dawned brightly.
A spirit of quietude pervaded both armies, until
about the hour of 2 p. m., Randolph, being upon
the crest of Seminary Ridge, about two or three
hundred yards south of the National pike, heard
two heavy guns fired in quick succession. In a
moment there responds a crash of artillery, the
brazen voice of one hundred and fifty pieces,
answered promptly by as many more, together
with the hurtling of shot and shell, created a vis-
ion of awe-inspiring grandeur seen but seldom
in a lifetime, and once seen never forgotten.
In a twinkling the heavens are obscured; a
black cloud hangs overhead, and looking up,
D A— 5
68 From Dust to Ashes.
there flashes here and there in the sulphurous
canopy the lurid fire of varied shapes and sizes,
but looking straight to the front and across the
valley, the flames seem to rush from the muzzles
of the field-pieces many feet in length.
In the midst of the infernal din, Randolph's
ear catches the music of a full brass band, which
he is told is at Lee's headquarters, but whose
sweet tones make him for a moment forget the
terrible work of death in front.
But, "Look! look!!" says one, and with a
fearful explosion, a cloud of white-looking smoke
arises over the cemetery, "there goes a caisson! "
In a different direction the same thing occurs;
again a voice cries, "There goes another !'' and
still the carnival of death goes on. Poor horses!
Poor dumb creatures! Subservient to the use
and brutality of man, their destruction that day
was fearful; in one instance alone, as many as
eighty being killed in a battery of eighty-four.
At last the cannonading ceases as suddenly as
it begun, and there came the climax of the war.
Acting under the orders of Lee, Longstreet
gives the order to Pickett to charge, and with
his brave Virginians, he places himself at their
head, and jauntily as on dress parade he moves
his men over the crest and descends the slope
with the firmness, coolness and decision of a pa-
rade. The enemy in their astonishment stand
Pickett'' s Charge. 69
transfixed, but for a moment, when admonished
Iby a sense of self-preservation, every available
Federal gun is trained upon his devoted band.
Fire front, both flanks, plunging, and cross are
no incentive to hasten or to unnerve those gal-
lant heroes; but steadily closing up, they press
forward with a determined, soldierly step, their
faces beaming with hope.
Hundreds of crimson battle-flags fluttered in
the breeze ; the long lines of troops with bright
arms flashing like mirrors in the snnlight were
pressing forward toward the enemy.
Here was all the " pride and pomp and cir-
cumstance of glorious war," that has captured
and fired the soiil of man in all ages, and by its
dread illusions turned his finer attributes into
heartless cruelties, and made the grim horrors
of this murderous art a merry-making allied only
to those of devils incarnate.
Now, a point is reached where the rush is to
be made ; the lines are closed up and massed for
the plunge. Here Kemper fell; then came the
dash, and with it a clash of steel and crash of
musketry in the very faces of the opposing sides.
Now falls the gallant Graraett-, and with the
thrilling yell of the charging Confederates the
flag of the Confederacy is plantad upon the
works of the enemy. Now it is that brave
Armistead falls, severely wounded; and the
70 From Bust to Ashes.
wavering divisions supporting, becoming panic-
stricken, broke to the rear. Instantly the Fed-
erals poured their hosts upon Pickett, fairly
enveloping him, and crushing him with the
weight of numbers.
The Virginians make a brave effort with cold
steel, but are met with a concentrated fire in
front and on both flanks. Still charging, never
dismayed, under this fire they seem to melt
away. They have done all that men could do,
and now the remnant returns, but with their
faces to the foe, repulsed but not whipped.
Slowly they returned, broken-hearted at their
loss and failure, but covered with a halo of glory
that will be with them forever.
The Federal pursuit was but a skirmish line,
which fell back before a few discharges of grape
And thus the curtain dropped upon Gettys-
burg. Night fell upon thousands of dead and
dying, and the fate of the Confederacy was
Grrim death reaped from the ranks of the
alumni of the Virginia Military Institute a har-
vest, ripe in all the wealth of glorious record and
Upon this fatal field, and upon an area of al-
most insignificant size, lay the forms of five ex-
cadets — Stuart, Patton, Jas. Allen, R. C. Allen,
Night After the Battle. 71
Williams and Edmonds, all dead upon the field
of battle, a mute attestation of their heroism
and their devotion to their country and its
The stars looked down upon the pale, upturned
faces of many a loved form, and Randolph, with
"but a slight wound, came out of camp with a
lantern, in search of a missing friend, accom-
panied by four privates, and passing through
the now famous peach orchard, goes directly to
the rock- riven slaughter pen of the Devil's Den,
meeting with men of both armies engaged upon
In the vain search for his friend his attention
is attracted to the indistinct voices of men be-
hind a huge bowlder, and stumbling over the
stones and picking his way among the dead, he
comes face to face with the ubiquitous Van
Horton, holding in his arms the limp form of a
man, whose feeble voice and long, white locks
told of suffering old age. The flickering light
of the lantern revealed a look of mutual recog-
"It is an old friend," says Van Horton, "not
fatally hurt, but painfully so."
Reminded of the gray locks at home, Ran-
dolph kneels by the side of the stricken man,
and offers to his lips his own canteen. A
draught and a sigh, and the unfortunate old man
72 From Dust to Ashes.
thanks him in the language and manner of a
cultivated gentleman, and, earnestly scanning
Randolph's face, requested his address.
Upon receiving it, with his gaze still riveted
upon him, "What?" he says, "Phil Randolph
of Virginia ? ' '
More surprised than he, Randolph takes his
extended right hand, and in mute astonishment
listens to a revelation as painful as it was sur-
"Blessings upon you," said the wounded man,
"and now that I am in the hands of one whose
name is a household one with me, please, Capt.
Van Horton, secure my removal, or find Major
Carday, who is near, that I may receive medical
attention. I am safe with Capt. Randolph."
Van Horton is soon lost in the gloom, and the
stranger, continuing, says: "I am the father of
Sadie Carday, and came to the front oppressed
with the fear of a mishap to my only son, and
seeing the troops of Pickett falling back, I
thought that pursuit would naturally follow;
but I found our men in confusion, having suf-
fered severely in the melee, when all at once
your batteries opened to cover the retrograde
movement, and a stray piece of shell struck me
here," placing his hand just below his right
"I like not this Van Horton," said Mr. Car-
U A Spy, I Presume" 73
clay, "but he appeared just in the nick of time,
skilfully bandaged my wound — no one paying
any attention to me on account of my citizen's
attire. What brought him here, I know not, be-
ing unattached, and, like myself, iu citizen's
"A spy, I presume," replied Randolph, "as
his forte lies in that direction ; and that your
estimate of the man is correct, allow me to
say from my own knowledge that he is a
scoundrel, and a robber in heart and in fact.
But tell me, is any member of your family near
you, besides your son?"
"None," he answered. "My daughter is now
a guest of Miss Marguerite Darlington."
Thus patiently they awaited, until at last the
sound of footsteps was borne to their ears, and
a swinging light announced the looked-for as-
With rapid steps Major Carday approaches,
and casually nodding to Randolph, laments his
father's unnecessary exposure, and his unfort-
unate condition. Being introduced, he in a
most cordial manner grasps Randolph's hand
and with a cheery "Glad to meet you, Captain.
Please give us a lift to the ambulance close by,
and we will talk afterwards."
The old man being snugly stowed away, the
Major turns to Randolph, and says:
74 From Dust to Ashes.
"Now let me thank you; you are what Sadie
says, 'the soul of honor,' and 'one of the best
fellows on earth,' " and drawing himself up to
his full height, fully six feet, with his bright
face, dark hair and eyes, just the opposite of his
sister, he appears as one who meant what he
said and was happy to say it.
With thanks Randolph acknowledged the com-
pliment, and tells him of his late interview with
Van Horton; about his sister's loss, of the many
noble traits of the heart and of the character,
and of the gallantry, and last, of the love and
devotion of poor Adjutant Mayne for the sweet
sister now with Marguerite.
To all Major Carday listens with a sad and
thoughtful brow ; now turning his face he meets
the gaze of Van Horton, and as quick as a flash
of lightning the tell-tale frown of a furious hate
mantles his face. Randolph notes the recognition
now for the first time of the bearer of the wounded
man's message. The Federal major, mindful of
his obligation, with becoming courtesy, thanks
Van Horton for his kindness to his father.
Van Horton, with the sang froid of an old
campaigner remarks, "I am not insensible for
the sufferings of my fellow-man, particularly of
an old friend (sarcastically), whose courteous
treatment under his own roof has so endeared
him to my heart."
Van Horton de Trop. 75
"This is neither the place nor time to renew
an acquaintance not agreeable," says Major
Carday, "and I beg to bid you good-night, Mr.
"G-ood-night," answers the wretch, now fairly
aroused, backing from them and doffing his cap
in mock humility. "I shall be pleased to carry
for your friend any message of love or condo-
lence, for I shall see your good people soon,
Captain Randolph, whom I have no doubt await
with anxiety my happy arrival — my sweet in-
tended, Miss F , so devotedly loves your
brother and his pretty, little, pet sister."
Stung almost to madness, the Federal major
lays his hand upon his pistol, but remembering
the situation, calls loudly for the sergeant of the
guard, the picket line being in close proximity,
but before a search is well begun, Van Horton
has disappeared in the darkness.
After exchanging many regrets concerning
the phases of the war, the separation of friends,
the conflict of brother against brother, the deso-
lation of homes, and the ruthless destruction of
life and property, and mutually expressing the
desire of an early meeting under the shadow of
the white wings of peace, each returns to his re-
spective camp, and is soon lost in sleep.
76 From Dust to Ashes.
'Twas midnight of the 4th day of July, 1864,
when Randolph (who had lost his horse), seated
in a captured Concord coach, which was loaded
with delectable supplies, the fruits of the visit
to Pennsylvania, was driven southward along
the Seminary ridge in the direction of Fairfield,
bound for Williamsport, Md. Here the pio-
neer troops were engaged, with the most primi-
tive tools, in constructing the pontoons to cross
the bulk of the Army of Northern Virginia.
These boats were launched and floated down the
Potomac to Falling Waters, a crossing but a
few miles below Williamsport, where Lee crossed
his trains, artillery and his troops in safety to
the south bank.
Remaining late with Carter's Artillery, which
held the bluff to defend the crossing, Randolph
lost his tent, his supper and his reckoning in the
dense cedars, and slept under the eves of a tent
near by, suffering the miseries of a drenching
rain, and the eternal drip, drip, drip of the tent
till the dawn of day, when, to his disgust, the
familiar voice of his own messmate told him
Off for Thornton's Gap. 77
that he had slept on the wrong side of his own
The troops again took up their line of march,
and their steady tramp soon brought them in
sight of the gallant and long-suffering Town of
Winchester; thence to Manassas Gap to "bag a
Yankee brigade," which proved too big for the
bag, as it turned out. The brigade consisted of
two army corps, requiring a night tramp down
by Front Royal, and a safe space of eight miles
away by the brawling river to rest the weary and
It was about four o'clock on the following
day, when the division wheeled to the left of the
road to go into camp, and Randolph was not yet
dismounted, when an order was received for him
to take the Pioneer corps to Thornton's Gap, a
distance of some five miles, to bridge a stream
at that place. That five miles added so unex-
pectedly to the march just finished, seemed to
grow in length as the worn-out men straggled
But the point was duly reached, and orders
were obeyed, but not before Randolph measured
the depth of the quicksand with his horse, and
gained an experience of navigating an animal on
fence-rails from quicksand to terra fir m a.
The labor done, Randolph lost no time to gain
access to the hospitable mansion of Mrs. Thorn-
78 From Dust to Ashes.
ton, near by, and was welcomed by old friends
and new, of both sexes.
The heart swells with the grateful remem-
brance of the good cheer, the cordial welcome of
the sweet-faced matron, the good Old Virginia
mother and grandmother, with a voice that
cheered, and a smile that meant welcome, and a
dignity and firmness with sweetness that was the
stay of Jackson's grip upon the Valley and the
bolster of the wearied soldiers' courage.
Oftimes memory has lingered over the recol-
lections of that visit, bringing thoughts, laden
with prayers and blessings, for the good Old Vir-
ginia matron who brought "home" to a soldier's
heart, short though it was. Here Randolph en-
countered Colonel Morton Marye, who had left
a leg upon the field of battle, and who was anx-
iously awaiting the arrival of General Ewell,
who likewise had lost a leg.
The meeting of the two was of some import-
ance, as Ewell' s peg was too long and Marye's
too short, and an exchange of pegs was in con-
templation; and we are happy to add was con-
summated with mutual satisfaction.
It is needless to say that, though Randolph
had an eminent regard for General Ewell, it was
not supposed that inferior officers on duty were
recreating in brick mansions, eating chicken,
listening to the sweet tones of a piano, drawn
Bed Tape Endorsed. 79
out by the nimble fingers of a charming lady,
and at the hour of retiring, to eschew tattoo and
taps and luxuriate in a feather-bed. A sorrow-
ful finale is to be recorded, and one indeed
divested entirely of digDity, for the General, long
expected, only put in an appearance m the we
small hours of the night, and as he entered the
front door our friend, Randolph, went out hastily
at the back door. At that time the General could
"cuss," and it was from a fear of extorting that
sort of an effort which caused the irregular exit,
although in later years that habit was but a rec-
ollection of the past.
After a tedious march, the division arrived at
Orange Court House, and here Randolph received
orders for detailed duty, and for fuller directions
to report at Richmond.
A government is no government without red
tape, and Randolph cared not how long they
wound and unwound their tape, so long as his
money held out ; for quartered at the old Spots-
wood, he was happy in the company of old
friends. There were present also many old ex-
cadets of every official grade, all hob-nobbing
and messing at the same table, and forgetful of
all trials and dangers — past, present and future.
Donning his best suit, Randolph seeks No. —
Franklin street, where a cousin of Marguerite
lived when last he visited Richmond before the
80 From Bust to Ashes.
war. Remembering vividly, too, how he took
the wrong direction homeward, and in the wee
sma' hours anent the twal, was turned in the
way of home and happiness from the precincts
of Butchertown, by a kind and gentlemanly
Answering the door-bell, he was told that Miss
Signor was at home, and was shown into the
parlor, now carpetless ; the carpeting doing duty
now and for many days past as soldiers' blankets.
Soon she entered, with the ease and grace which
was a part of the woman. Gentle, pretty and
intellectual, she was a model of grace, and of all
the virtues that charm the heart, and exalt while
Advancing with extended hand, "You are
welcome, sir," she said, "as all soldiers are who
wear the gray. But tell me, whom have I the
honor of addressing?"
Laughing, Randolph is in the act of answer-
ing, when she fairly screams: "Oh! Oh! you
good-for-nothing scamp ; you deserter, you fraud,
you everything that is naughty, where have you
been? What a great, long moustache you do
sport, and it was but yesterday the beardless
cadet, lost in revery of his true love, and gazing
at the wrong star, lost his reckoning in the
lighted streets of Richmond," and ceases only
in a paroxysm of uncontrolled laughter.
Fie for Shame. 81
Randolph meekly catches the contagion and
joins heartily in enjoying the ludicrous picture.
"Now, Berta," pleads Randolph, "will you
never learn to respect the tenderness of my poor
heart? Think how I have suffered! Been up
in Yankeedom, keeping the whole nation from
visiting you and the seat of the Confederate gov-
ernment, and now you chaff me. Fie, for
shame ! ' '
"A truce it is," she answered; "but tell me,
what did you bring from the raid?"
"First of all, my dear lady, these beautiful
high-topped boots; a handsome and gallant cav-
alry officer had no further use for them in the
place he was journeying to; a man of our Pio-
neer corps borrowed them, and being unable to
get a No. 9 foot into a No. 7 boot, Secretary
Trenholm's scrip made them mine."
"And is that all?" she asked.
"Oh, no," answered Randolph; "scores of
wagons went into Pennsylvania loaded with
hungry, footsore and barefooted men. Our
wagons returned loaded with food for man and
beast, and clothing, and our men shod to a man.
As for our staff, we have flour, cut-loaf sugar,
tea, coffee, apple butter, and, please don't faint !
a whole barrel of whisky. Ah! your lips grow
"At least, not for the whisky," she answers,
82 From Dust to Ashes.
"but men exposed, I suppose, must needs have
it, and it must be so refreshing to the poor
wounded; but I must say that our okra and
sweet-potato coffee, when compared to the
simon-pure, would be more apt to bring water
to the eyes than to the lips."
Mindful of the object of his visit, Randolph
"Tell me of your sweet little coz, Marguerite.
I will share my choicest rations with you if yeu
will tell me 'heaps' of my little sweetheart."
' ' What a valiant lobbyman in the councils of
Cupid!" says Berta. "You would bribe me;
you judge me as Fannie P judged yourself
when a cadet — ' that the only way to reach your
heart was by your mouth.' However, I have
news, and good news. Would a surprise hurt
you, or are you too well guarded! "
"Oh! no," answers Randolph ; "Cupid flies,
and the little fellow has a reckless way of flying
his darts ; videttes would be useless, and I am
too old a soldier to be frightened. On with the
surprise, and earn your bribe."
"Then, let me tell you," says Berta; "Mar-
guerite is here in Richmond, and Sadie with
her. Marguerite's brother Charlie is in the
hospital, wounded in one of the many fights of
the Stonewall brigade, and the girls are down
with him now, with what delicacies we could
The Introduction. 83
rake and scrape together — some bought, some
begged and some contributed, and the sum of
all not much to brag of. ' '
More than satisfied with the success of his
visit, Randolph, in company with Berta, ap-
proached the hall door, when, as if by magic,
the door flies open, and the ladies enter, Mar-
guerite in advance. Berta quickly, in jest, in-
troduces ''Miss Darliugton — Captain Price," and
quick as thought Randolph puts his arms around
the little lady, and says: " Yes, yours without
price, my little one!"
''Oh, how you frightened me!" answers the
willing captive, and the upturned lamp shows a
lovely face, radiantly beautiful, with crimsoned
cheeks and sparkling eyes, shaded by hair as
black as midnight, and lips that to Randolph
seemed to be lost in the luscious fragrance of
For a time questions of no importance to the
reader are made and answered, with astonishing
rapidity, till the hour of 12 calls for the linger-
ing ' ' Good-night ! ' '
'Tis late and the city is wrapt in sleep, when
Randolph reaches the Spotswood, where he
meets his old fellow-cadet, Colonel Slaughter,
of the — th Virginia, and together they find a
banker, a boyhood friend, and together enjoy
a supper ' ' fit for the gods, ' ' the memory of which
84 From Dust to Ashes.
is green and glorious of to-day; but whose mixt-
ure of every variety of stimulants, a vivid mem-
ory long remembering, involuntarily causes the
hand to feel the head for an aching recollection
of that joyous event.
Their stomachs were empty, their appetites
good, and delicacies never saw during the war;
the temptation was great, and though the Colo-
nel badly limped from the effects of a bullet
through the thigh, they bore their burden like
men, and safely laid their forms, increased by
many pounds avoirdupois, upon their hotel
beds, and dreamed of feasting, and arousing
early in search of the nearest cut to the water
Breakfast next morning is hastily dispatched,
and Randolph looking "tired," but armed with
his promised bribe, is soon ushered into the par-
lor, and anxiously awaits the ladies.
As the group file in, Marguerite's quick glance
betokens the knowledge of a night of short
rest, but condones the offense, because has not
the offender just passed .through the valley of
starvation and the shadow of death! Surely
one wagon train could not last always.
In this group now seated around Randolph,
happiness reigns supreme; quick wit and bright
repartee gladdens each heart, and shortens time,
that even the sombre dress and sad face of
"Died of a VP 85
Sadie cannot subdue, for in 1864 death was a
familiar event, and had knocked or was knock-
ing at the door of thousands of Virginia homes.
Belles, beaux, marriages, the war, the army,
the conduct of the officials, "Examiner" com-
ments, all were discussed, till a hush came from
the ringing of the front door-bell, and almost
immediately, two officers of the Artillery and
Engineer Corps, respectively, entered, and were
introduced as Captain Barton and Lieutenant
Rumford ; when the ladies, almost in a chorus
in their eagerness to secure the aid of the new
arrivals in denouncing the remark which Ran-
dolph had let fall just before their arrival, that
he was in sympathy with the "Examiner," then
published in Richmond. Miss Berta claiming a
* ' court-marshal " ; " charge, treason " ; " speci-
fications, to be forthcoming."
Captain Barton claimed ignorance of the
whole matter, to which Miss Berta answers:
"Have you not seen Editor John M. Dan-
iels' editorial saying, 'That if the Confederacy
fell, there should be inscribed upon its tomb-
stone, 'Died of a V,' ' referring to the angle
formed by Jeff Davis' Mississippi troops at
"Captain Randolph hears the General Order,"
says Lieutenant Rumford, "let the court be
86 From Dust to Ashes.
"Certainly," answers Randolph, "the court
does not propose to deny me the right of
thought, and of expression, and most assuredly
I have committed no crime."
Quickly Marguerite speaks in defence of her
lover, and says : ' l Perhaps fawning now may
lead to preferment, and though silence is golden,
it may lead to oppression or defeat, mayhap to
"Well and bravely spoken, my guardian an-
gel," says Randolph, "and now let me divest
your minds of one error, and recall to your
minds a few facts of history."
"The assumption of the form of the letter V
was not the outcome of the ingenuity of Col-
onel Davis, but simply the occupying with his
lines the natural crest and conformation of the
hill commanding the intervening valley. Fur-
thermore, in looking over the field of our disas-
ters, do you not perceive the direct origin of
Daniels' ominous words! Look at Price, the
idol of his army, beheaded at Richmond, and
succeeded by Pemberton whom none knew, nor
wanted. Behold the result! a retreat from
Holly Springs to Vicksburg — locked up, and
caught like a rat in a trap, not counting the
bloody blunder of Big Black River. See again
Joe Johnston wearing out the attacking army in
detail by leading him away from his base of
supplies, choosing his own ground, pounding
him well, and cutting his communication off
from his base of supplies; leaves him to repair
damages, fix up and inarch again to receive the
same dose. Yet, at Richmond, his head falls
in the imperial basket, and a gallant officer not
equal to the emergency, with the executive pre-
diction, that he was one to 'strike a manly
blow,' steps in, with a new programme, and
with a campaign marked only by the carless-
ness or stupidity of allowing a whole army to
pass near his sleeping troops, and with the
bloody defeat of Franklin, nothing else is to be
With flashing eyes he asks: "Do you see the
terrible contrast with the ' manly blows ' struck
at Resaea, Kennesaw, Altoona, and upon every
hill-top on the line of Johnston's retreat?"
A pause, and Randolph turns to Berta, and
says: "I really think that I will have you put
in the stocks, and to further punish you, when
I get married, I shan't call you cousin."
"Wait, Captain," she answers, "till that time
arrives; 'there is many a slip, etc., etc' But
let us drop such questions and talk of our own
And now the usual chaff of young people,
bent upon enjoying the brief moments of relief
from camp, soon dissipates the hours, and the
88 From Dust to Ashes.
young men rise to leave, and Randolph last, for
the words spoken to Marguerite are not many,
but all of love and devotion — for the partings of
those days were sometimes good-byes forever.
The three young men slowly sauntered to-
wards the Capitol grounds, separating there for
their respective hotels or quarters, and upon the
arrival of Randolph at his room, he found a
curt note scrawled upon a strip of paper:
"Waited here two hours to deliver orders; back at ft
a. m. to-morrow." "Adams, Orderly.''''
This ended his revery, and he retired; the
old negro refrains which he had heard so often
on the Mississippi steamers ringing in his ears,
"Good-bye, my lover, good-bye."
An Old Friend. 89
Promptly Orderly Adams appears with his offi-
cial missive, and saluting, retires to the sacred
precincts of his bomb-proof post in depart-
ment, and Randolph is left to read his orders.
Being of a private nature and for the good of
the service, and totally irrelevant to the issues
herein, we simply state that the duty assigned
was arduous, dangerous, and requiring nerve
and good judgment to perform with safety and
Armed with an order to draw for a coadjutor,
Randolph thought of none more worthy or
acceptable than his former fellow - traveler,
now Sergeant O'Rourke — and as future events
showed, none better pleased to serve, or better
able to fulfill the duties required.
Bidding an affectionate adieu to the angels on
Franklin street, and draining a parting cup with
his friend and companion of the memorable
feast, Colonel S , about 8 o'clock a. m., upon
a lovely day, the two soldiers were seated on
board the cars en route to their destination, via
Lynchburg, and to a point some forty miles
90 From Bust to Ashes.
Arriving: late at night, our travelers disembark
on the south side of the road, and, attracted by
a glimmering light some distance away, proceed
thither, guided, as it were, by this star of hope.
In the days of his boyhood Randolph had been
a guest at the hospitable mansion now sought,
and whose venerable, though eccentric, host was
his father's steadfast friend; but time had erased
the map which memory should have retained,
and they stumbled along as though perfect
strangers in a strange land. Anchoring at the
gate, and clinging thereto with the energy of
wrecked mariners, superinduced rather by the
expected appearance of some wicked and vicious
quadruped of the genus canine, they venture a
timorous ' ' Hello ! ' ' which brings a watchful
man-servant to the door, who bids them enter.
Here was the enjoyment of a blissful rest, and
rising early, Randolph, standing upon the front
porch, drinks in once again, and perhaps for the
last time, the lovely scenery from as lovely a home
as is found in any valley of Virginia. The house
is situated upon the very crown of a gentle eleva-
tion, and is built of brick masonry, being one-
story, with attic lighted with dormer windows ;
of a rambling style, but with large, airy rooms
and a spacious hall, both front and rear, sup-
plied with broad verandahs, whose columns were
entwined with running vines and climbing roses.
The Peaks of Otter. 91
In the yard, and to the right of the mansion,
was the office, a two-room building, used when
pressed. Between the two houses was a large
granite block, about two feet deep, two feet wide
and six feet long, having two basins chiselled
therein, for the accommodation of those who de-
sired to bathe their face and hands in the waters
of a lovely spring hard by.
The host, a model farmer, as he was a model
man, of massive build and sunny face, with long,
flowing locks, now tinged with the frosts of more
than seventy years, was nevertheless very demo-
cratic in his manner of dress.
Eandolph gazed in silent admiradon, and with
thoughts of inexpressible happiness, at the beau-
tiful landscape spread out before him. Once
again he sees the familiar friend of his child-
hood, the Peaks of Otter, rising like a giant in
strength and grandeur upon the right ; the val-
ley in front, with its varied verdure of corn, oats,
tobacco, and its pasture of lowing kine and
bleating sheep; and far beyond, in the distance,
the long sweep of deep blue of the ridge of that
name, bluer by contrast with the azure of the
All this was much enjoyed, until his revery
was abruptly broken by a friendly (if it was
heavy) hand that fell upon his shoulder, and
looking up, the kindly gaze of his old friend
92 From Bust to Ashes.
was met with the demand, "And where did you
The answer was easy, and with that easy grace
which the old man, with even his osnaburg
shirt and red bandana handkerchief swung
around his neck, could not diminish. With such
grace and welcome, he takes Randolph by the
arm and leads him into the sitting-room, where
a massive sideboard of mahogany is graced by
elegant cut-glass decanters, all, need we say,
well filled. Sugar, in meager quantity, was
there, and on account of its rarity sparingly
used. A glass of freshly gathered mint stood
convenient for use.
Bidding his guest to partake, the good old
man in an incessant strain talks of the war, his
troubles, and of old times, until stopped by the
draining cup; when by many coughs and much
clearing of the throat, Randolph is made very
positively and painfully aware of the fact that
Sergeant O'Rourke is present and "not in it,"
but evidently desirous of joining in the libation.
The old Captain, for such he has been called
for these many years, sees the object of commis-
eration, and, without further to do, cries, "Come,
come, sir! and join us;^we are only ahead; you
are on time, and can catch up by adding to the
"I will, and thank ye," says the Sergeant,
Mr. O'Bourke Imhibes. 93
and, evidently mindful of the words of his host,
he fills his glass to the brim, and, bowing with
becoming gravity, he swallowed the contents
without drawing a breath, and wiping his mouth
with the back of his hand, cleared his throat and
said: "Bether than the stuff you were afther
bringin' back from Carlisle barracks, Captain."
"You have drank some of the Captain's ten-
year-old apple brandy, O'Rourke," answered
"The saints be praised! The blessid apple
brought trouble and misery enough to auld
Adam, and busted up the family circle entirely,
but sure Captain the juice of apples loike that
would make a paradise anywhere without Adam
in it. Sure I fale it in the botham of me
It is not long before the household are seated
at breakfast, and to the almost utter demorali-
zation of Randolph, a young Lieutenant S ,
and an old ex-cadet, drops in, who is spending
a sick leave, having enlisted in Mobile, Ala.,
while engaged in the noble and exalted position
of sampling cotton in that port.
For the poor old devastated Virginia of that
period, the table partook of a fascinating repast ;
and the event seemed to culminate in a meeting
of friends, whose mutual records and reminis-
cences, when brightened and enlivened and
94 From Dust to Ashes.
brought back to memory, would make the old
walls resound to the peals of joyous laughter.
All of a sudden this was estopped by the dispo-
sition of our high-stepping and fancy lieutenant,
actuated by the push and energy of those we fear
as friends, and dread not as enemies. His de-
sire was to speak, and none knew it better than
poor Randolph, and none dreaded it more.
Turning his adolescent figure to face our honest
old host, he pertly says:
"Captain, how many bushels of wheat do you
Answer — ' l Five thousand . 7 '
Question — "How many of corn! 77
"Eight thousand. 77
He asks of horses, cattle and sheep, and pa-
tiently the old man answers this catechism ;
whereupon this puerile ghost of a soldier, not
knowing the ground whereon he treads, says in
a spirit of advisement:
"'Cotton is King, 7 Captain; you should sell
out and go south, and raise cotton, sir. 77
Never will I forget the look of mingled disgust
and contempt which absolutely paled the old
Captain 7 s face (ordinarily red), as he turned
upon the young man with the expression :
"D — n you and cotton, too! I wouldn't -live
out of sight of the Peaks of Otter for all the
cotton states of the Southern Confederacy.
O'Bourke is "Dry." 95
'Cotton!' 'Cotton! 777 And with a sniff and a
snort, lie attacked his plate with renewed energy.
Needless to say, noue enjoyed the rebuff more
than Randolph, whose experience in the cotton
region taught him the truth of the old man's
words, and he felt that it was merited rebuke to
the recreant fealty of a stupid Virginian.
It becomes necessary here to purchase horses
if possible, and as the old Captain in his patri-
otic enthusiasm has disposed to the Confederate
government all of his available stock, it was de-
cided that Randolph aud the old Captain should
ride some six miles across the country westwardly,
to secure the necessary mount, while O'Rourke
should hold the office down during their absence ;
a servant also being sent to beat about among
the immediate neighbors for horses, which, if
sent, were to be examined and valued by Ser-
geant 7 Rourke, now the supreme officer in com-
For at least an hour after Randolph's depart-
ure, our good Irish sergeant walked that yard,
never passing the sitting-room door without
thinking of the gladdening contents of the big
glass decanters upon that mahogany sideboard.
At last he rests before the door, holding his right
elbow in the palm of his left hand, with his
right gently carressing his much admired goatee,
and concludes his reverie thus: "I'll do it,
96 From Dust to Ashes.
begorra!" and walking in, he fills a tumbler to
the brim and quaffs his spirits with the gnsto of
one who has the right, and of right enjoys it.
Resuming his walk, his heart warms to himself
and his fellow-man, and his legs beginning to
tire, he hies him to to the office, which hardly
affords him a chair before he is accosted by a
plain, young, farmer lad, whom he invites to
"take a seat and sit down."
In the absence of any chair, the lad promptly
says, " I ain't got any seat."
"The Divil ye havn't!" answers O'Rourke.
Ye have a sate, and just put it on the steps."
Now feeling, with the help of his libation, his
importance as an inspector and purchaser of
government horseflesh, he proceeds to catechise
his visitor :
First, spitting high and far, and with an as-
sumption of much grandeur, he asks: "Phwat's
"Isaac White, sir," the lad meekly answers.
"Was wounded, one of Jenkins' cavalry; father
refugeed near here, from below Petersburg, and
my pa sent me here to bring her up."
"And sure, is she well put up, and will she
stand the cavortin' of the boss!" says O'Rourke.
"Of course she is, and of course she will; and
moreover, she is as bright as a daisy," he an-
Mr. O'Rourke is Hospitable. 97
"An' now ave yer plase," said Mr. O'Rourke,
''an' how does she move?"
"Like a queen, and there is not her match in
the country," answered the lad.
"She must be a honey, be jabers," said
O'Rourke; "and sure it will take an ambulance
to bring the Confident money to buy the queen.
Now, tell me, is she quiet, gentle and well
"Oh, Lord bless you! yes; you jest see my
ma and pa oust an' you'll be satisfied of that."
"An' how auld is she?" asked O'Rourke.
Isaac answered, "Just fifteen."
O'Rourke collapsed. "Howly Moses! trot her
around, and let me auld eyes behold the queen
of fifteen years that can bate the Captain's seven-
year-auld, that he rode away from here this
blessid morn. 'Arrah! go away wid ye! Phwat
do yer take me fer, yer spalpeen?"
Upon which Mr. Isaac White rises in sheer
stupefaction, not knowing whether the man was
crazy or upon the road thereto.
But the climax was reached when he was in-
vited, with proper flourish of arms and much
dignity of demeanor, to walk in and take a
"drop," and then hitch the queen to the rack till
the Captain should arrive.
Whereupon the scales dropped from the eyes
of Mr. White, and he proceeded to enlighten
98 From Bust to Ashes.
Mr. O'Rourke that, at the request of his parent,
he had accompanied his sister, of fifteen sum-
mers, to enter the employ of his host, and that
she is now with the old man's good lady, and
would not enjoy being hitched to the horse-rack.
"Ouch! Murther!" said the Sergeant.
"Kape, what I've said to ye to youre darling
self, me lad ; there comes no good to be afther
prating around yer own saycrets; and moind
ye, its bether by lots and gobs to be hitched to
a rack, rather than a wrack, which often hap-
pens. Now will ye take a drop! That's a man
as ye is. Now run, me honey, and give the dear
girrul me love and dootiful regards intirely."
Which Mr. Isaac White, judging from his
haste, is anxious to do.
Upon the arrival of the two Captains, some
hours later, with two led horses, they find the
gallant Sergeant slumbering hard and heavy,
and seeking refreshment, soon discover the
cause, when sounding the decanters.
A night of rest, a hearty "Grod bless you,"
from the host, and once more our travelers are
upon the road, and for many days are engaged
in carrying out the orders of depart-
ment, until caught in the advance of the troops
of General John Morgan, composed entirely of
cavalry, and which were moving in the direction
of Greenville, East Tennessee.
"Jine the Cavalry." 99
With the sapient advice of Sergeant O'Rourke
to "jine the cavalry" for a brief season, and
favoring the idea with a hope of seeing the
faces of the old folks at home, Randolph readily
assents; and riding ahead of the command,
they are astonished beyond expression, to find
Morgan and staff ahead of them without escort,
in a country if not hostile at least more than
doubtful, and filled with Union sympathizers.
Randolph and his faithful attendant soon ar-
rive, and is welcomed to the bosom of his
parents, but it was accompanied with such a
burden of fear and anxious expectation, that
acting upon the information of his parents that,
the Yankees were near the place in force, and
that his capture or death was liable from reck-
less exposure, they waited until darkness had
fallen, when mounting their horses, they quietly
rode away to a safe hiding-place, near the vil-
lage, and in easy view.
Early next morning our adventurers were
aroused by the noise of beating hoofs upon the
highway, and the rapid firing of carbines ; the
flying horseman which flashed by, and to the
rear, being recognized as one attached to the
body of General Morgan, quickly aroused the
suspicion in the minds of the two experienced
soldiers that this was the sequel of yesterday's
100 From Dust to Ashes.
Remaining en perdu, Randolph argued that
having accomplished their object, the Yankees
would retire upon their main body. At night
they returned to the village and' learned the par-
ticulars of the death of Morgan.
Mrs. C. D. Williams, a most elegant, courteous
and hospitable lady, and for many years a widow,
was the magnate of the village; the possessor of
a large, two-story brick mansion with basement,
surrounded with ample grounds, having a well-
kept garden of flowers and fruits, running down
and extending to the main street of the village
At one corner of the garden, and fronting on
this street, she had constructed a small church,
dedicated to the use of the Protestant Episcopal
denomination ; in the diagonally opposite corner,
and near the house, was the grape arbor, in
which Morgan was killed.
The maudlin story of Morgan's betrayal by a
woman of the name and family of his hostes>.
has been a story of no foundation in fact. It was,
however, ravenously seized upon by "thai
woman," Miss F , who saw another Ran-
dolph to punish, and another victim for her
venom. And even in after years, periodically
did this poor she-devil visit her imbecile rage,
until at Atlanta, the poor brute who was paid to
many her and move away from home, put her
General Morgan's Mistake. 101
where bad women trouble not, nor bear false
witness against their neighbors.
It is an historical as well as an indisputable
fact, that Randolph's father, and all the Williams
family, besought General Morgan not to take the
risk of stopping alone in this hospitable man-
sion, to which he paid no attention, believing it
to be idle and inane fear prompting the advice.
Strange to say, the one most innocent of all
knowledge of the presence of the object of all
this parade, and of the representatives of the
parties herein mentioned, that this absent and
unsuspecting member of a family above all re-
proach, should suffer from the poisoned breath
of suspicion. Perhaps, the outcome of the vivid
imagination of a frightened soldier, who left his
General to be shot down like a dog, while he
took safety in flight ; or worse still, the relentless
persecution of a vicious woman, debarred from
her old associates, a social pariah, whose insane
desire for revenge had deadened every sensibility
of gentleness and virtue, which are the crowning
glories of her sex.
The absolute truth of history is as follows,
vouched for by Confederate officers who did not
run away — men of truth and courage — backed
by the knowledge of a member of the Confeder-
ate Congress, and attested by the Federal Com-
mander, General Alvan C. Gillem. who com-
102 From Dust to Ashes.
manded the Yankee forces that made the raid,
and in every way a truthful gentleman, as he was
a gallant soldier:
Vioksburg, Miss., Feb. 13, 186-.
Esq. — Dear Sir: In answer to your letter inquir-
ing as to the time when and from what person I had in-
formation of the whereabouts and movements of General
Morgan, on which my advance and the action of my forces
were predicated, and especially whether any member of
the family or household of Mrs. C. D. Williams, directly or
indirectly, conveyed to me any information on the subject,
I have no hesitation in answering. My command encamped
at Bull's Gap on the 31st of August, 1864. In the afternoon
of the 3d of September, Colonel J. K. Miller brought a boy,
some twelve years of age, to my tent. The youth informed
me that his name was Leidy, that he lived with his parents
in Greenville, eighteen miles from Bull's Gap; that at 12
m. that day Osman's Confederate scouts had entered
Greenville; that, fearing the loss of his mare, he had
sought to escape, but had been captured; that after re-
maining in Greenville till the arrival of Vaughan's brigade,
Osman's scouts had advanced with that brigade to Park's
Gap, where the brigade commanded by Bradford en-
camped; that the scouts then advanced in the direction of
my camp about a mile, and stopped at a farm-house for
dinner, when the boy escaped through a cornfield. These
soldiers and officers said that General Morgan would spend
the night in Greenville. Such was the intelligence of the
boy that I knew it was Morgan's purpose to attack me,
and I determined to take the initiative and attack him at
daylight. A brave, intelligent citizen guided us by the
Arnet Gap road, to the rear of the left of the enemy's po-
sition, the main body of my force advancing at 10 o'clock
at night by the direct road to Greenville. Colonel Ingerton
turned the enemy's left and getting into his rear, entered
Greenville without encountering a picket. Information
The Truth of History. 103
was obtained from a trustworthy woman that Clark's bat-
talion and McClung's battery were on the further side of
the village, and that Morgan and his staff were guests of
Mrs. C. D. Williams. Receiving this information, Colonel
Ingerton ordered Major Wilcox, with troops of the Thir-
teenth Tennessee cavalry, to charge into the village and
secure Morgan. This order was executed with spirit and
dash. Before Wilcox's command arrived at Mrs. Williams'
house, its inmates were aroused by the firing in the streets
and at the stables where General Morgan's orderlies, with
his horses, were sleeping. The General and his staff, half-
dressed, rushed out of the house and found the streets, on
all sides, filled with National cavalry. In the melee and
whilst attempting to escape through the garden, pistol
in hand, and without being recognized, General Morgan
was shot with a carbine, and instantly killed, by Sergeant
A. J. Campbell, Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, who was on
horseback some eighty yards distant from Morgan, at the
southwest corner of Mrs. Williams' lot. Sergeant Camp-
bell did not know who the person was that had been shot
by him, nor was the body recognized as that of General
Morgan until the papers on his person were examined,
nor will this appear strange when it is known that he was
dressed in light blue pants, without cap or coat. It has
been charged that General Morgan was shot after his sur-
render. The assertion is not only wholly groundless, but
under the circumstances impossible. The soldier who fired
the shot was at least eighty yards distant, and the wound
clearly demonstrated that the ball entered below the right
shoulder and came out near the left breast.
Such are the facts connected with General Morgan's
death. Neither Mrs. Williams nor any member of her
household gave me any information concerning the move-
ments or position of the rebel troops upon which I pre-
dicated the movements of my command. It is very strange
that such a rumor should have gained circulation, when a
son of Mrs. C. D. Williams was present with General Mor-
104 From Dust to Ashes.
gan and serving on his staff. It has been claimed that a
member of Mrs. Williams' household conveyed to me at
Bull's Gap information of the arrival of General Morgan in
Greenville. This report is utterly false. The only infor-
mation received is set forth in this letter. About the time
Wilcox's brigade entered the village I attacked the enemy
in front vigorously, compelling Bradford's brigade to fall
back until it came upon Ingerton's command, when it
broke and fled in confusion. The news of Morgan's death
was rapidly spread by members of his escort, who escaped
from Greenville, which probably accounts for the rapid re-
treat of his center and right with scarcely an effort at
resistance. After the engagement, the body of General
Morgan was properly cared for by the captured members
of his staff, aided by my own staff. It was my intention to
send his remains to his friends at Lexington, Ky., but in
deference to suggestions of some of his staff the intention
was changed, and the remains were sent through our lines
under a flag of truce.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Alvan C. Gillem,
Brevet Major General, U. S. A.
And thus is one of the errors of the times dis-
covered and corrected; one of those strange
falsehoods, born of malice, jealously or ignor-
ance, and oftentimes used as an assassin's dag-
ger to stab in the dark or to murder the inno-
cent. Under all circumstances Morgan paid the
penalty of his temerity, ami the Confederacy
mourned the loss of a gallant champion.
Randolph, with his trusty sergeant, now turn
their horses' beads once again towards the camps
of Greneral Lee, who hard pressed by the over-
A Best. 105
whelming numbers of Grant, is falling back
and concentrating upon Richmond and Peters-
Oppressed with anxiety for the loved ones at
home, and fearing the continued efforts of the
relentless Miss F , whom now he believes
will stop at nothing, he dismisses O'Rourke near
the Natural Bridge, and hies him to the home of
his lady-love for a brief sojourn.
106 From Bust to Ashes.
The bright sun of a November morning shines
down upon a body of men, clad, for the most
part in the uniform blue of the United States
army. A few negroes ride with them, seemingly,
upon equal footing with the others. Each man
has fastened some article of household goods to
his person or his horse, and by the quick, jog-
trot, the frequent turning of the head to peer
over the shoulder, the anxiety of the rear files
to keep well closed up, all gave evidence of a
marauding crew, fearing pursuit, and seeking
safety for their booty and their own worthless
The commanding officer is none other than
our ubiquitous Van Horton, who, drawing rein,
checks his horse, until a sergeant — a slim, tow-
headed mountaineer of some twenty-six summers
of wild-cat distilling — draws near, and as they
are now ascending a steep ascent of the mount-
ain side, Van Horton addressed this Sergeant
Lamb (and a blacker sheep never browsed upon
the hillsides of East Tennessee) as follows:
"We have cleaned Cedar Valley this time, and
with better luck. In the first raid Old Randolph
The Doctor Hanged. 107
did give us some trouble, aud knocked over
Sallie Jenkins. I always told her that men's
clothes and grabbing too fast would be the death
of her. I wonder if the pious old man won't
get worried when he finds that he has shot a
"Not much!" answers the sergeant. "She
had on pants, and the pants were blue, and that
ended it; he and all his whelps, male and fe-
male, will rejoice."
"We got his old partner," says Van Horton,
"the doctor, this time for sure. But, I say,
Lamb, the old man was nearly gone the last
time you strung him up ! ' '
"Yes," says Lamb, with lamb-like simplicity;
"he took lots of choking for a big, fat man, and
an old man at that ; but if I hadn't kept it up
your saddle-bags would be lighter by a mite.
When Major Tdiii Randolph finds raid No. 2
such a success, and his sweetheart's old daddy
houseless and homeless, what shall we look
"I have thought it all out, Lamb, while your
mutton-head was resting in sleep. I have prom-
ised my precious stand-by, Miss F , to re-
member the whole Randolph family. I have
done up the old man and woman, as you know,
for you helped me; we have turned Major Tom's
little darling out of house and home ; and when
108 From Dust to Ashes.
we have put our little captures in a safe place,
we are going for the young man next. My good-
ness! how Miss F hates that young man!"
"It seems mighty funny, too," says Lamb,
for I remember the time when she was mighty
sweet on Tom Randolph. Both were 'stuck up,'
away out of my company; but I noticed how
she hung on to him — 'twas Tommy this, Tom-
my that, Tommy to church, ball — and nothing
unless Tommy was there! "
Laughing with the reckless abandon of a
heartless ruffian, A r an Horton, placing his hand
familiarly upon Lamb's shoulder, and in a con-
gratulatory strain, says:
•• Lamb, on yesterday you gave the old doctor
a dose, and an experience of one h , but mul-
tiply that by four, and still that place is one of
luxury in comparison to the hellish fury of a
woman scorned, and she will spare neither the
male nor female of the Major's name."
Having reached a place both shaded and well
watered, and having put some thirty miles be-
tween themselves and their place of plunder, a
halt is called, and the men are soon engaged in
preparing for supper and a night's rest.
No pickets are out, for Van Horton knows
\v<41 that all the Confederate cavalry are drawn
in and massed near Morristown, for the whole
force of Federal horsemen are moving on them,
The Bide to Morristovm. 109
accompanied by a strong body of infantry, and
if, by hovering near, and any mishap should
occur to Major Tom Randolph, how easy it
would be to turn it to his own account and carry
the glad tidings to Miss F , to receive her
thanks and reap the reward of his prowess.
When all were sleeping, and midnight was
passed, two silent forms arose almost simultane-
ously, and, with cat-like tread, took their way
to the head of the gorge, where, beneath the
jutting stone, whose moss-covered top was
shaded by a huge old oak — a landmark of the
region, they hid away the gold and jewels of
the good old doctor so lately plundered.
Before the sun had risen these mountain thieves
were in the saddle and traveling direct towards
Morristown. Arriving shortly after mid-day
near the village, and not knowing the situation
of affairs, an ebony-hued contraband was di-
rected to resume his dress as a field hand, and
make his way on foot, to gather up all the in-
formation possible and return to the troop in
In a country thinly settled and densely tim-
bered, with few roads to direct the wayfarer, it
was an easy matter to find a hiding-place, even
for a brigade, who might look down with perfect
security upon an army without a thought of
110 From Bust to Ashes.
Night had settled down, and the stars came
out in the sky, shining brightly from their azure
canopy; the crisp winds of November sighed
among the dead and dying leaves, rattling in
their dryness, and then falling from the bough
which they had gladdened and decorated in the
bright and happy sunshine of summer. The
stillness of night is of that nature which brings
to the mind sweet visions of love and peace, and
to the heart a spirit of thankfulness for all the
good gifts of heaven. No such effect is produced
upon the motley crew lying wrapped in their
blankets in this mountain valley.
The picket on duty is startled by a sudden
burst of flame from a valley far away to the west ;
the heavens are brilliantly illumined for a few
moments, then fade away. "Only another reb
burned out," he thinks, when suddenly the cry
of an owl, "hoo! hoo! hoo! " is heard. Knowing
the signal, he answers, and soon the crashing of
the leaves and twigs under the heavy tread of
footsteps betokens the arrival of the expected
Having imparted his information, which is
exhaustive, having visited both sides; the camp
is soon wrapt in profound slumber — except one
man, whose thoughts are busy of the morrow.
Hate, jealously, love, if such as he could love,
the hope of plunder, all passed in rapid sueces-
In Front of Morristown. Ill
sion through his heated brain, until nature,
wearied at the strain came with a downy relief
which soon lapsed into the hard breathing of a
Morning finds the column of Van Horton in
motion, and straggling in some semblance of
military order they find themselves in front of
Morristown and between the lines of the Federal
and Confederate troops, and as the Federal cav-
alry were moving up to the attack, encouraged
by the presence of overwhelming numbers, not
from choice, but from an unfortunate necessity,
our plundering crew were caught, as it were,
between the devil and deep sea, and facing
towards the village, prepared to join the attack.
As fate decreed, Major Randolph's battalion
was posted just beyond the crest of the hill, the
crest itself being occupied with a row of houses
principally those of business ; and being anxious
for the fray, the Major had ridden into an empty
shed-room, and, looking through an aperture, to
his astonishment and infinite gratification, he
sees before him the cowardly band of traitorous
neighbors and the well-known person of their
Riding back, he tells the glorious news, and
his men, with quickened pulse, take firmer grasp
upon carbine and sabre, and all feel that the day
of reckoning is at hand.
112 From Bust to Ashes.
The Federal cavalry cautiously approach,
driving slowly the gray-clad skirmishers before
them ; when amid the booming of artillery and
the crash of musketry, the bugles of the Con-
federates rang clear and thrilling upon the morn-
ing air, and with flashing sabres and rush of
gallant steeds, they bear down upon the Fed-
eral advance. The shock causes a sudden re-
coil, when Major Randolph's battalion, gallop-
ing to the front, pour in a volley from their
carbines at close quarters, which nearly annihi-
lates the partisan band of Van Horton, and un-
horses him under the very sabre of Randolph,
who is spared his death or capture, for the son
of our good old doctor so lately plundered, with
a yell of fury, clove his unprotected head with
one stroke of the sabre.
In the smoke and confusion, a fresh regiment
of Federal cavalry came like a whirlwind upon
the little band now fighting unequal odds, crush-
ing and overwhelming them. Still Randolph
cheered his men by voice and deed; to the com-
mand to surrender, he utters no reply; with
a pistol in each hand, he fires away; when in
admiration and magnanimous pity, an officer
again demands a surrender. Alas! too late.
Wounded already — with bowels torn, a sabre
wielded with a strong arm, descends upon his
shoulder, and Major Randolph falls, to be
The Street Word, "Mother." 113
crushed under the iron-hoofs of charging squad-
One more hero gone to rest ; one more home
made sad and desolate, and one more heart
to grieve of hope cheerished, now lost and gone
The Confederates are beaten back, and a
faithful soldier, neighbor and companion of
Major Randolph, having never left his side,
takes his mutilated body to a house near by,
doing all that man could do to ease the last mo-
ments of his dying chief. With all his agony,
no word of complaint comes from this gallant
soldier. Now and then a frown of pain would
distort a face always wreathed in pleasant
smiles, a face at all times attractive — but now
clad in the palor of death.
At midnight, when all was stillness, a move-
ment of the wounded officer aroused the nod-
ding Rogers, who, leaning over the quiet form,
heard a gentle sigh, and then a murmur, in
which the sweet word of "Mother" was spoken,
and then all was still. The hunted spirit had
gone, winging its flight where there are no more
battles, and where the voice of the slanderer and
calumniator is never heard.
An old "Knoxville Register," of November,
1864, lies spread out before me, yellow with age,
and rumpled with folding and worn in creases.
114 From Dust to Ashes.
With heavy heart and tearful eyes I read the fol-
lowing obituary :
" Major Thomas T. Randolph, Battalion, Tennessee
Cavalry, Vaughan's Brigade, was mortally wounded near
Morristown on the 15th. He was born in , Virginia,
and was but 26 years of age, when he nobly yielded his life
for the sacred cause of Southern independence.
"He entered at the commencement of the war, and was
a faithful soldier to the close of his life. From June last
until his battalion was transferred to East Tennessee, he
was with General Early in the Valley of Virginia, and par-
ticipated in all his hard- fought battles.
"His parents reside in G .
"At the time he received his mortal wound he was in the
advance, charging the enemy. With his last breath he ex-
pressed the willingness with which he submitted to the sac-
rifice of his life in defense of his oppressed country.
"Surely his noble patriotism will embalm his memory in
the hearts of his countrymen, and the heroism of his death
be a lasting reproach to his detractors in /i/e."
I lay the tattered memory away, and again
resume my pen.
We will go back to a period of only a few short
weeks previous to the events detailed in the last
It was at the close of a pleasant September
day, for summer yet lingered in the lap of fall,
and now the crimson rays of sunset were re-
flected with a softened splendor, in the cool,
shimmering depths of the river, where it winds
softly past the home of Marguerite, and so down
to its junction with the historic old James.
Two people, in a gaily decked canoe, drifting
quietly with the stream, felt the beauty and im-
pressiveness of the hour. Need we tell the
reader that the parties are Randolph and the
A long silence is broken by Randolph remark-
ing, "I cannot believe that this is our last even-
ing together ; this week has been so like a dream
— a very happy dream to me. I shall miss you
so much when absent."
The maiden flushed faintly, but did not an-
swer, and there was silence again between them,
but in those dark and lustrous eyes there was a
suggestion of unshed tears.
D A— 8
116 From Dust to Ashes.
They had reached the bank, and she had risen
and turned her face so that he could not see it ;
he put out his hand to help her from the boat,
and her's rested on it as he stepped on shore.
Slowly ascending the bank, they crossed the
main road running along the river, and made
their way to the lovely cottage nestling upon
the mountain side, the home of sweet Mar-
As they were passing an old trysting-plaee,
a seat of woven twigs of hickory, Randolph,
still holding the hand of Marguerite, drew her
gently towards this place, seated her, and turn-
ing a gaze both ardent and sad, said: "And this,
perhaps, may be our last and only meeting. We
have loved so long, and I have fed my thoughts
night and day with sweet memories of happy
moments passed, and happier ones I hope to
<-<>me. Marguerite, make not this the ending of
all — let me this evening call you by the sacred
name of wife ! ' '
"No! no!" she answers. "I cannot marry
you now; t'would break my heart to send you
to the front alone, and I would be a burden in
camp; a dutiful daughter, you know, makes a
dutiful wife, and to obey my parents' command,
prompted always by the love and welfare of
t heir offspring, has always been the pride of my
life and the safeguard of my happiness."
A Squaw Bride. 117
"Does he object to my being a soldier, or is it
that my means are too limited?" asks Randolph
in rather a sneering tone.
''Now yon are cruel in your anger; it is
neither' ' ; and — and here she breaks down and
hides her face and tears in her handkerchief,
whereupon Randolph melts and pronounces
himself an incorrigible stupid and a brute be-
sides, and with an humble heart and contrite
spirit he begs forgiveness, and is happy again
to see the sweet face of her whom he loved so
dearly smiling upon him in forgiveness of his
"Father does say that you have made your
home out West, and the people out there are
so wild and desperate that he would not like
to see me living in the midst of such a motley
assemblage of such men and Indians — like a
squaw in fact""
At this timid and sapient revelation, Ran-
dolph is convulsed with laughter. The Margue-
rite of his vision, she of his heart, she of his very
presence, "a squaw ! ' ' The idea is too ridiculous,
and again he makes the welkin ring with peals of
laughter ; and feeling in the ecstacy of his mirth
that a demonstration is necessary to establish his
claim as frontiersman, he fairly scalps the maiden
in his effort to kiss the cheek now crimson with
blushes at the unseemly elation.
118 From Dust to Ashes.
" Shall I go and see the Governor!" he asks.
"No, not yet," she answers. U I shall never
give my love to any other but you. do back to
your command ; love me always as you do now ;
let me hear from you often. Your country first,
myself afterwards. Oh! if you knew my heart,
you would feel the bliss of another life, free
from war, absence, and the dread of danger.
1 will pray for you and — but here comes Sadie ;
do be cheerful and say nothing of the past.
Slowly approaches the sunny-haired little
maiden, and reaching the lovers, she takes both
hands of Randolph, and looking him steadily in
the face, with melting eyes and lips that tremble
with emotion, she says: "I have heard from
home, and my father has so many kind words to
say of you; he knew not that I should see yon,
but in his name I thank you so kindly for your
good services in his behalf. What can I ever do
to repay you ? ' '
u Don't mention it, Sadie; glad to hear that
the old gentleman got safely home ; there is noth-
ing which I would not do to make you happy."
"Oh, this war! Sufferings without number,
anxieties, starvation and death!" says Sadie.
After a pause she Lells them " that tea is quite
ready, and after partaking it 1 want to read to
you the expression of my thoughts, so beautifully
penned by 'Daisy,' a lady of Bristol, Tennessee.
" You're Been Crying." 119
In the meantime we'll adjourn to the parlor
where Captain Randolph can read my father's
letter, and you, Marguerite, can go and bathe
those pretty black eyes. You've been crying."
" You are in error," says Randolph, very sol-
emnly. "It is I who should show traces of re-
cent tears. Marguerite insists upon my being a
"Why, a squaw-man; isn't that plain
enough?" answers Randolph. "Wouldn't Mar-
guerite grace a tepee f Think of her gorgeous
trousseau of a bandana handkerchief and a red
blanket ! Let me disabuse you ladies of this East-
ern idea, for beauty, elegance and refinement,
the West, yes, the Far West, furnish parallel ex-
amples of excellence in knowledge and refine-
ment, and frequently outvie their Eastern
Randolph's panegyric upon the West is here
interrupted by the announcement that tea was
When the family are seated once more in the
parlor, Sadie insists upon reading the poetry
heretofore referred to as her thoughts and her
prayer, and in a sweet, distinct voice read as
120 From Bust to Ashes.
"Implora pace, Oh, our Father!
Listen to us now,
While in earnest supplication
Before thy throne we bow;
Death rides forth amid the storm,
And war's red lightnings blaze,
Dark clouds, and gloomy shadows fall,
And dim life's brightest days.
"The brow of Mars is wreathed in fame,
And the shining laurel bound
With the hair of dead men, dyed in blood
From many a ghastly wound;
The wail of childless parents
The insatiate monster claims,
With shriek of helpless womanhood.
And the village home in flames.
"The ruthless shot, with hatred winged,
Swift rushing through the air,
Tears the limbs of age and youth,
Nor spares the strong and fair;
Homes once the scene of beauty's spell
Now desolate and drear;
Where joy and plenty once did reign
Now woe and want appear.
"Life seems a dream — a horrid dream —
Of naught but care and pain,
From which we'd give a world of wealth
To wake in peace again;
Our land one scene of grief and sin,
A wrathful, rolling sea;
Oh! Father, guide our nation's helm
From every danger free.
" Hush the storm-lashed billows —
Let us not longer grope,
But give us o'er the darkened foam
Imp! or a Pace. 121
The bright day-star of hope.
Hear us! Oh, our Maker! hear us!
Turn the leaden cloud away,
And show us the soft ' silver lining,'
That foretells the coming day.
"We would ask no selfish joy,
Nor pleasure's boon implore,
But that the news of battle's woe
Might wring our souls nomore.
Grant us Faith to bear us up
Till death's dark hour is o'er.
Remove thy chastening rod, and give us
Hearts to love Thee more.
" We have scorned the Shepherd's fold
And wandered far away,
And cannot hope that we deserve
The mercies that we pray.
Yet, spare us, Father, for the sake
Of Him who died to save,
And rescue our dear Southern land
From slavery's dismal grave.
" Oh, dry the eyes of those that weep
For the loved ones gone ;
Soothe children's cry, and woman's wail,
And man's expiring groan;
Turn back the ruthless hireling foe,
Let war's fierce tumult cease;
Stretch o'er us Thine almighty arm,
Oh, God! we ask for peace!"
Thus finishing, she sadly says: "It looks hard
for me to quote the 'ruthless, hireling foe,'
when my good and noble brother is enlisted in
the ranks of the invaders, and I a Yankee born;
122 From Dust to Ashes.
but when I remember that all I loved was
snatched from me by a bullet from the rifle of
an imported foreigner, fighting for money, I feel
The host, from his easy chair, which his aged
form holds down with 250 pounds of solid flesh
and bone, his hands clasped before him and his
thumbs revolving in concentric circles, thus
breaks the pause:
"I admire your verses, Sadie, as I admire
you; they breathe a sweet perfume of peace and
piety. Since Jackson's death, our old neighbor
and friend, I have thought more about a peace-
ful solution of all our troubles ; with his life went
all my hopes of freedom and success."
"Let us not bring camp-talk to this charming
circle," says Randolph; "we are surfeited else-
where. I will gladly volunteer to escort Miss
Marguerite to the piano to cheer our hearts with
The music which once won the heart in col-
lege-boy days again lingers in the ear and thrills
the soul with memories of happy moments in
days long past; the hours fly swiftly by, and
late the "Grood-night" is spoken, and stillness
reigDS in "Rose Cottage."
Early next morning Randolph arose, and,
wandering aimlessly among the shrubbery, he
espied a moving object coming down the river
One More General Killed. 123
road. It proved to be a man, and nearer still
it proved to be a soldier, equipped with knap-
sack and blanket.
To the question of "What command?" the
soldier halted, and gracefully saluting, answered:
"Company K., 1st Regiment of Troops, and
that being lately transferred, was on his way
to report to Captain Randolph at Petersburg."
"But Captain Randolph is a member of the
staff of General R , and I am the Randolph,
and will leave in a few hours for my post."
"The stranger answered that " Captain Ran-
dolph is no longer on his staff; your General
was killed in the Valley ; he died like a soldier,
with his feet in the stirrups and in front of
The gallant hero dead! The friend of his
boyhood, and of his manhood, gone forever
from his gaze. His eyes grew moist, and the
helpless spirit of the inner man cried out in
agony, "Thy will be done! "
Bidding the soldier to await their breakfast,
the solemn meal is soon dispatched, and but
few hours elapse before they are steaming to
Petersburg and its grim trenches, bidding defi-
ance to Grant and his hosts.
124 From Bust to Ashes.
Fate, with some, and the "decree of an all-wise
Providence" of another, has been the ready
method of thousands in solving the cause or
effect of a momentous occurrence in man's
life; but to the hard thinker and the more
material mind there seems to be "a missing-
link ' ' in the solution of the extraordinary facil-
ities afforded the viciously wicked of evading
death, and oftener of securing a fortunate and
happy deliverance from impending danger.
It is an adage that "the good die early," but
a great many die early, and it does not follow
that all that die early are good ; and perhaps the
bad ones who linger along are given more time
for redemption by a kind Providence. Let us
hope so, for it seems that neither Fate nor
Providence had decreed that Van Horton should
die on that bloody hillside at Morristown. And
we shall proceed to follow this worthy, after his
fall, when his troop was routed by Major Ran-
Badly hurt and faintly breathing, he was care-
fully moved to one of the houses of the village,
and after weeks of wavering between life and
A Perfumed Invitation. 125
death, lie was at last able to be transferred, and
was accordingly forwarded by train to Washing-
ton, D. C. Emerging from the hospital a shadow
of his former self, his forlorn appearance as-
sisted by his artful skill in deception, enabled
this Union officer to parade his wounds and his
person for the admiring gaze of the social circles
With the good living and charming festivities
of Washington, Van Horton was soon himself
again, and as the winter was fast drawing to a
close, his thoughts naturally turned towards the
reorganization of his band, and the means of
replacing those who were left on the hillside at
While quietly seated in his apartment, his
war-like schemes are suddenly dissipated by a
timid knock at the door, and in answer to the
invitation to enter, a messenger appears and
hands Van Horton a daintily perfumed note r
which proved to be an invitation to attend an
entertainment at the residence of Mr. Courtnay.
There were to be tableaux vivant, music and
Knowing Mr. Courtnay to be among the
wealthiest of the wealthy, one of the largest army
contractors and a power at the throne, an ac-
ceptance was written immediately.
The hours went by with wearisome step, but
126 From Bust to Ashes.
the moment came at last, and alighting from his
carriage, his person arrayed in the gorgeous uni-
form of a colonel of cavalry, he steps upon the
Brussels carpet, laid down from the curl) across
the broad sidewalk, and enters the brilliantly
lighted parlors of the lately-fledged monetary
lordliug, where his eyes are dazzled at the flash
of many lights, the lovely hues of silks and
satins, the beautiful array of ferns, flowers and
plants, while decorating rest the wearied eyes
with their soft, deep green; while the ears are
assailed with the chatter of men and women,
varied with the merry laugh of some happy
maiden, or with the inharmonious haw! haw!
haw! of the opposite sex, but all chastened and
subdued by a splendid orchestra, who sit in
improvised orchestral seats before a large cur-
After a formal introduction, Van Horton lays
siege to the eldest Miss Court n ay. whose stately
figure, bright gray eyes, and light-blonde hair,
has had the effect of adding a percentage to the
value of her inheritance in the eyes of her gal-
lant escort and new-born admirer.
Turning to his companion, Van Horton says:
"Fresh from the scenes of bloodshed, and the
tameness and manifold sorrows of the hospital,
what a glorious feast for the eyes and for ( im-
pressively) the heart," and looking tenderly
Van Horton's Modesty. 127
down into the eyes of the lovely woman by his
side, he adds: "For one so humble as myself,
without prestige or record, I might say that it
all far exceeds my deserts."
"Your deserts!" she echoes. "Colonel Van
Horton, how can you say such things? Is it to
your modesty, or are you not endeavoring to
presume upon the ignorance of your company?
Can I not read? Have I not ears to hear? Ah!
The vanity of man."
Pardon me the suspicion of ignorance," he
answers, "and least of all any doubt of the
power of your eyes, and I thank you for your
kindness in imputing to my modesty that which
might have been more properly set down to my
With a face beaming with animation, she says:
"Do you pretend to say that you are ignorant of
the fact that you have been promoted to the
rank of colonel, and that your gallantry has
been mentioned by special order f^
u Ah! " he answers, " it is all the mere routine
of a soldier's life," and showing an unconcerned
air for the honors heaped upon him, which he
calculates will impress his companion with the
nobleness of his soul, which seeks only the glory
and maintenance of "the flag," he leads her to
a seat where the tableaux can best be seen, as
all are now being seated, attracted by the an-
128 From Dust to Ashes.
nouncement, followed by a grand overture by
the orchestra. The curtain rises on
Scene 1. "Deserted." A grief -stricken
mother kneels by the bedside of a sick child;
with disheveled hair and eyes uplifted, she im-
plores Heaven's help for a worse than widowed
woman, and for the safety of her suffering child.
A little boy with golden ringlets falling upon
his shoulders, stands near, gently fondling his
mother's hair, while the scattered ornaments of
the room show a confusion born of misfortune
and pent-up sorrow. The outside scenery is of
an English cottage home, nestling in a wealth
of shrubs and flowers and creeping vines; its
trim walk, its diamond-glazed windows and
wealth of colors, contrasting so dismally with
the interior. But not on this was VanHorton's
eves riveted, but upon a. little sign-board which
"TO MELROSE ONE MILE."
Van Horton looks with bated breath and
startled interest, when the soft voice beside him
remarks: "Lovely, isn't it ? My cousin volun-
teered her services and promised this a success;
I am so pleased that you are interested."
"Indeed I am interested," he answers, and
with a voice strangely altered, he asks: "And
to what has this scene a reference — a mere fancy
of the brain, I presume!"
Tableaux Vivant. 129
"I cau only refer you to my Cousin Sadie; she
is the author and originator of all; she is a
great favorite of my father."
u Ah! really," he replies, and silence follows,
until is loudly announced :
Scene 2. u False in Lore and False in
War." To the left of the stage and right of
the audience was a man, an almost facsimile in
size, age and appearance of Van Horton, kneel-
ing in the attitude of a lover pleading his suit.
while bending over him in all the glory of a
triumphant coquette, stands no less a person
than Miss F , of doubtful fame ; old men
and women and young girls kneel with uplifted
hands holding jewels and money as offerings,
while young children cower in fear behind
them — with slow music the curtain falls.
"Your cousin has a genius for the lugu-
brious," says Van Horton. "Is this the end."'
"Oh, no; only one more scene," says she.
Why do you not applaud with the rest? I
am sure it is beautiful, and Sadie has worked so
He evades an answer by asking: "And who
pray, did you say was the gifted author of our
"It is my cousin, Sadie Carday. Why she is
just lovely; so meek and gentle, and besides
she is just out of the rebel lines, but her gallant
130 From Dust to Ashes.
and loyal brother is the treasure under our roof,
and condones all of Sadie's rebel proclivities."
Van Horton feels the sand giving away be-
neath his feet, First, Sadie Carday here, whose
very tableaux were studied events of his life;
and now her brother appears upon the scene,
who is spoken of in the language of pride and
affection and so studiously expressed, thus leav-
ing him hopeless and helpless in his artful and
wicked designs. And Miss F , when and
how came she here? This, and much more
flashed through the wondering brain of the
treacherous Van Horton.
Oh, man! wait and see! Heartless and brood-
ing crime begets a multitude of woes, that all the
efforts of wealth and intellect cannot still, and
"I will introduce you after the next piece, "
says Miss Courtnay, "and I flatter myself that
you will surely fall in love," and immediately
the tinkle of the bell is heard, and there is an-
Scene 3. The Fruits of Slander and Woman's
Hate. The lights are burning dimly; a dark
shadow falls upon the scene; slow, dirge-like
music falls faintly upon the ear. An aged man
and woman are bending in mute despair over all
that is left of their noble soldier boy, while a
beautiful woman, with her long, golden tresses
Van Horton Dismayed. 131
falling over her shoulders kneels in prayerful
attitude at his feet. The background is a well-
executed scene of a wrecked and ruined home.
The make-up of the figures are of Sadie's cre-
ation, and are known to herself, and more
especially to one other, and that "one other" is
Van Horton, who, with all the callowness of his
robber-heart, has suffered an agony of mingled
wrath and hate. Well does he know that Wash-
ington is no place for him; but, first, he must
know what brought Sadie here, and, with that
end in view, he casually remarks to Miss Court-
"And does your cousin reside here, or is she
To which she replies : ' ' Only a visitor, as her
brother, who, by hardship and exposure, is now
confined to his room in this house, needs the
attention of so sweet and skilful a nurse."
And now the curtain falls, the representations
are ended, and the guests are rising from their
seats and scattering over the spacious rooms in
quest of friends and enjoyment. All seems
confusion, and happily for Van Horton, he finds
a suitable occasion to accomplish his end.
Suddenly he remembers "that urgent busi-
ness, official of course, demands his attention at
this very hour ( looking at his watch); except
for the appointment previously made, he could
D A— 9
132 From Dust to Ashes.
not find it possible to tear himself away, but
duty, imperative duty alone, could cause him to
deny himself the happiness of his present com-
pany, with whom he had so much enjoyed the
delightful representations which had just been
And with much more of the same stuff, before
Sadie could put in an appearance, our gallant,
newly fledged colonel has dropped a crisp shin-
plaster into the ready hand of the obsequious
porter, who politely hands him his chappeau
and helps him into his ample overcoat.
Seated in his carriage as it whirls him to his
quarters, his thoughts are troublesome ones,
and he asks himself over and over again: "How
came these things known to Sadie — by letter or
Verily, the way of the transgressor is hard.
When Sadie enters she is overwhelmed with
congratulations, but when meeting with her
cousin there is a mystic recognition, that inde-
scribable look — part surprise, part contempt, and
another greater part of " there, didn't I tell you
so," which only a woman can express without
lip or tongue.
Then bursting into laughter, Miss Courtnay
relates the conversation of the doughty Colonel
— his ignorance of Miss Sadie, his enjoyment
of the scenes, and his sudden call to duty.
The Imposter Squelched. 133
To all of which Sadie listens with the greatest
attention, and remarks:
"We have squelched the hateful imposter,
and my Southern friend, Marguerite, will have
an interesting, as well as instructive, budget of
news to impart in her next letter to her intended.
I am so glad that I posted you so well as to the
character of the man. You must have played
your part admirably."
"What a strange coincidence that you should
be thrown into the society of this man's deserted
wife!" says Miss Courtnay.
"Not at all," answers Sadie; "there are
thousands making inquiries at the bureau at
which my father presides, and when this par-
ticular inquiry was made ' Van Horton' was the
middle name used and not the surname, and
getting from the lady his description, I placed
him in a moment. My greatest wonder is how
such a nice woman could cross the ocean for
such a trifling fellow."
"Let the man go," says Miss Courtnay, "and
let us enjoy the ball."
"I wish the ball was over," says Sadie, with
an air of fatigue. "I shall not dance; but, mark
my words, 'imperative duty' " ( Sadie says this
with marked emphasis) "will cause Colonel Van
Horton to leave Washington before the flag rises
over the dome of the capitol tomorrow."
134 From Bust to Ashes.
And leaving their cosey corner, they mingle
with the happy throng.
And true to Sadie's prediction, before 12
o'clock next day the Colonel is steaming towards
Sherman's army marching on to Atlanta.
Grand Old "Cockade City: 1 135
Nevee before in the history of nations is there
presented a spectacle of such pure and unfalter-
ing devotion, such grandeur of courageous suf-
fering, and such sublimity of sacrifice as was
presented by the citizens and troops defending
the gallant old Cockade City of Petersburg, Vir-
With four millions of negroes behind them,
encouraged by every art and appliance of a
cunning and relentless foe to deeds of violence,
of arson, plunder and murder; with the ships of
a nation a century old blockading their ports
and harrying their coast, a new-born Confeder-
acy, of itself and by itself, struggles for life and
The unequal struggle still goes on. The winter
of '64-65 is a hard one for the Army of Northern
Virginia, poorly fed and poorly clad as they
were ; still there is no lack of faith in the success
of their cause, nor thought of surrender. If a
thousand Yankees are slaughtered, two — yes,
five thousand more are ready to supply their
places from the criminals and slums of Europe ;
but if one hundred Confederates are lost, who
136 From Dust to Ashes.
are to fill their places? Nearly true Avas the
Yankee General's remark, that "They had robbed
the cradle and the grave."
The bulk of the Confederate army is occupy-
ing the City of Petersburg and vicinity. Grand,
old Petersburg! Her gardens now are torn with
shot and shell, her houses razed and crumbling
under the incessant fire of the enemy, her help-
less and infirm exposed to all the hardships of
war's most fearful trials, and. added to all, is the
gaunt figure of want,. which stalks in their midst
with threatening mien, and the grim monster,
Death, reaps with both hands from war and
The lines confront one another, extending
from the Weldon railroad, on the right, around
the city, and following the line of the Richmond
& Petersburg railroad and east of it, to and
about the City of Richmond.
The works of both armies are upon an exten-
sive scale, and seem almost endless when viewed
from a single point. Well-equipped batteries
peer out from their embrasures in forts, re-
doubts and salients, connected with trenches and
parapets, affording protection to the troops lay-
ing behind them.
Now and then a solitary bastion fort of the
Yankees stands out in an isolated position,
mounting its heavy siege guns and flying its big
Mail, Here! 137
garrison flag — a mighty hedging machine — to
accomplish by numbers and hunger what cannot
be done by feat of arms.
Randolph has been here now many weeks, and,
early one morning, as he emerges from an ad-
dit some twelve hundred feet long, to whose
mine, at the end of it, the Yankees were offered
many inducements to approach, he unexpectedly
and most gladly meets an old fellow-cadet, Gen-
eral Lane, who now with his infantry brigade
supports the big guns of Battery 45, served by
a detachment of the glorious old AVashington
Artillery, and enjoys some moments of conver-
sation and happy reminiscence.
Having met this command before, Randolph
notes the appearance of their ranks, thinned to a
skeleton by battle, sickness and hard service, and
leaves for his camp in a saddened frame of mind
Tired, hungry and low-spirited, he sits wearily
down in his tent to await the call of "grub."
Suddenly his ears are saluted by a cheerful call
of "Mail! Mail here!" and, listening, he hears
called aloud, "Captain George P. Randolph!"
accompanied by the remark, "and from a
woman, too, by jingo! Look at the fist! "
Very soon the letter is before his gaze, but
shuts out all thoughts of hunger and weariness,
and adds to the weight of his troubles a load as
heavy and burdensome as it was unexpected.
138 From Bust to Ashes.
In brief, it tells him of the burning of the
home of Marguerite, of the loss of all the valu-
able improvements attached to the place — all
given to the flames by the barn-burning raid of
Hunter — and also tells of their intended removal
to Columbia, South Carolina, as a point of
safety ; for was it not there that the Confederacy
printed their money? and with expressions of
devotion, closes with a prayer for his safe de-
livery from all danger by sickness and battle.
His hunger appeased, his weariness of mind
tempts him to wander among his fellow-officers,
when even this privilege is denied, for an orderly
curtly tells him that his presence is demanded
immediately at headquarters.
Upon reporting, he is ordered to take two
days' rations and twenty men and report to
Greneral G- , near Rives Salient, at 9 o'clock
Promptly he has crossed the pontoons and is
wending his way through the old " Cockade
City," a title earned in 1812 and glorified in
The moon, in queenly garb, was flooding all
nature with brilliant, silvery light ; the house-
tops glistened with the frosts of the chilly night,
and the deep shadows of tall houses, dark and
tenantless, are checkered with the flickering
lights of those who cannot or will not leave.
Special Duty. 139
The streets are deserted, ploughed with shot and
shell ; the fine houses on Bolingbrook street a
continuous line of wreck and ruin, with falling
walls and tottering chimneys ; now and then the
sullen roar of heavy guns is heard, but the sharp
report of the picket's rifle is never-ceasing.
i Every step unfolds a vision of the incarnate
deviltry of grim-visaged war. Bomb-proofs
upon private grounds, for the security of the
owners in case of bombardment, are numerous;
everywhere bears the evidence of long months
of unceasing struggle.
Randolph reports for duty, and is assigned to
the charge of a work of pick-and-shovel, for
which he prepares to rest in the folds of his
blanket, while waiting the "dark of the moon."
It is past midnight, when the picket gently
places his hand upon his shoulder and tells him
"it is time."
Arousing quickly, Randolph has his men in
hand, and with string and pegs, they mark the
line, and burrow like so many moles, until the
coming of day, when the unsuspecting eyes of
the enemy behold debatable ground no longer,
but safely behind the fresh-raised earth are good
men, with rifle and bayonet, to hold it.
As an evidence that this approach to a closer
relationship than is recognized as agreeable,
from right and left and front a storm of shot
1-40 From Dust to Ashes.
and shell are poured upon them, but lying down
close, hugging the ditches, they spend a "long,
long, weary day," listening and watching.
Night falls again ; a comparative stillness fol-
lows, and at the same time as before they begin
to extend the work, but not as before, unopposed
or unseen, for in a twinkling sheets of fire flash
from the parapets of the enemy, while their ar-
tillery opens with a roar that shakes the earth,
killing and wounding several and driving the
remainder to the cover of their pits.
This brought on an interchange of compli-
ments between the opposing batteries, and for
two long hours the din was incessant, the flash-
ing guns and bursting shells making a pyrotech-
nical display wondrously terrible but fascinat-
ing to the gaze.
As the men lay closely hugging the inside of
the ditch while all this grand display was going
on over their heads, no one had noticed the
stillness of Randolph as he lay upon the ground,
but his nearest file thought that by the peculiar
position of his arms and body that it was not
natural for one uninjured, and shaking him, he
got no response; then it is found that he is
badly wounded and insensible.
The two hours of steady firing gradually ta-
pers off to a single gun away down by Pocahon-
tas Bridge (or where it was), and finally it, too,
Captain Randolph Wounded. . . 141
ceases, and only the "pop! pop! "' and never-
ending 'night picket firing is heard.
At that darkest hour, just before dawn, four
men carrying the litter on which lies now our
wounded Captain, are hurrying with noiseless
steps by the very route by which they had
tramped so hopefully but a few hours before.
Upon examination it is discovered that the
wounds, while painful, are not of a serious nat-
ure, and after the patient and skilful services
of the regimental surgeon, our hero is left to his
nurse and gentle slumber.
Soon in a condition to be moved, Randolph
remembers the abiding place of Marguerite, and
who could better play the part of physician and
nurse than she? And would not the Confed-
eracy have one less mouth to fill! Such plead-
ing with the gentle and kind-hearted surgeon
secured for Randolph a pass and transportation
to Columbia, South Carolina.
In the latter days of the Confederacy, in those
days of wheezy, overworked engines and rickety
cars, who could portray the discomfort, the filth
and terrible trials of a wounded man, jostled,
side-tracked; in one hour hot, the next freezing
cold ; wretched, starved, and burning with fever
The memory of that trip clings like a night-
mare, &nd whose recollection is brightened only
142 From Bust to Ashes.
by one incident. Falling into a doze, and upon
opening his eyes at some point between £)anville
and Charlotte, Randolph was surprised to see
the sweet face of an elderly lady bending over
him, smiling with a cheerfulness refreshing to a
man in his depressed state of mind and body.
"You have been sleeping," says she; "I hope
that it has been a refreshing sleep.
Buoyed by the look, the voice, and the good
old face peering out of the curtains of one of
those old-fashioned "sun-bonnets," sacred in
the memory of our childhood days, he answers :
"Yes, I feel much better, but I cannot under-
stand why our engineer wants to jerk the life
out of us, or break his couplings, every time
that he starts to move."
With the same sweet, winning smile, she an-
swers: "You are speaking from the effects of
the jerks upon an empty stomach, and as I
have a basket expressly for sick and wounded
Confederate soldiers, I make it my daily business
to travel up and down this road, a volunteer,
for the special service of finding such as you."
And suiting the action to her speech, she
beckons her waiter and regales our hero with
viands to which he has long been a stranger,
and which in long years after he gratefully re-
Perhaps this will recall to many a grateful
That Good Old- Lady. 143
heart that good old lady, the ministering angel
of comfort, whose kind words and gentle touch
had soothed so many suffering soldiers, and
whose well-filled basket brought cheer and hap-
piness to many a wan and hungry Confederate.
Changing cars at Branchville, South Carolina,
but a few hours' run brought him safely to
Columbia, where our hero is met by the blush-
ing and happy Marguerite, who waves on high
in exultation the Chief Surgeon's permit to
quarter him at the home of her he loved so well.
144 From Dust to Ashes.
From Petersburg to Columbia — Oh! what a
contrast! At the one, strife and bloodshed, the
rattle of small arms and the thunder of the big
guns ; pale want and grim desolation stares all
with the grimace of an insatiate demon. At the
other is music and the dance ; gaily attired ladies
and well dressed gentlemen, sprinkled but too
frequently with gold-laced officers, parade the
Worn with fatigue, and still suffering from
his wounds, Randolph retires early, but not to
sleep ; thoughts come and go like lighting-flashes
through his fevered mind. The transition has
been too sudden, and all seems too unreal. Xow,
forgetful of his situation he listens for the in-
cessant picket firing; but no, there is the sweet
Toice of some fair daughter of Carolina trilling
the plaintive melody of II Trovatore, '"Ah. I've
sighed to rest me."
Randolph thinks, too, of the gallant few of
over-worked, ill-fed and long-suffering soldiers,
who uncomplainingly shiver in their trenches —
dying, and ready to die in defending 1 heir work.
Wearied nature at last ;isserts her rights, and
Only a Bream. 145
lie sleeps that sleep which comes with change of
place and new surroundings, deep, but full of
the grotesque imagery of a disordered mind.
While dreaming that he was leading a train of
cars to capture Marguerite, who was being taken
away by the Yankees, he was unhorsed by a
woman with a basket, who. with her threatening
carving-knife awakened him with a sudden
start, to find that he had slept till 9 o'clock
a. m., and that the sun was brightly shining
outside of the drawn curtains.
There was no disposition to arise, but rather
the reverse, and with a dull pain in every joint
and each wound, a racking headache, he rather
wished for the early arrival of some Grood
Not long does he wait, for a gentle knock is
quickly answered by the expected " Come," and
a servant enters, who is directed to call for
medical aid. This has the effect of bringing the
host and hostess, the parents of Marguerite,
quickly to his bedside, who, in a short time, are
followed by Surgeon Fisher, who, with the de-
liberation of one who has seen service in the
field, looks at the patient, smilingly asks how
he feels, remarks on the pretty morning, and is
all the time removing his overcoat, and then is
With tender and skilful hands the wounds
146 From Bust to Ashes.
are unbandaged, and then it is discovered that
much has gone wrong during the three days of
inattention during travel.
Suffice it to sav that with the severity of the
operation, the depleted state of the body of the
patient, and the high and almost ungovernable
fever which held him in its fast embrace, the
good old surgeon had a hard fight, and the
patient a close shave for life.
On the seventh day Randolph opens his eyes
upon a scene never to be forgotten. Sitting
close to his bedside was Marguerite, her elbow
resting upon a chair, holding her cheek in the
palm of her hand, fast asleep. Her face was
turned to him ; evidently she had fallen asleep
while intently watching him. What a wealth
of happiness to him to gaze, and to watch un-
molested that face he loved so well. He could
almost feel her breath upon his cheek ; still she
slept and still he gazed ; and, as if warned by
some subtle agency, she opened her eyes to meet
his own, exchanging a look of happy surprise.
" Well, sweetheart, I have watched over you
while you slept, have proved myself a true sen-
tinel, and now won't you reward me for my
services with just one sweet kiss?" Thus
speaks the sick man.
Without any shrinking prudery, she answers:
11 Indeed I will, my brave knight," and kissing
In Columbia, S. C. 147
him, and again for good luck, she pauses to
ask: " Do yon not feel much better, dear?"
He answers: " Ever so much better; I feel
like a new man — wonderfully refreshed; rest of
body and mind was what I wanted. Tell me,
darling, how long have I slept!"
"Never mind about your time of sleeping,"
says Marguerite. "Keep quiet now, like a good
boy, while I go and send the glad tidings to
Doctor Fisher," who soon arrives and makes
all happy by announcing all bad symptoms
passed and predicting a rapid convalescence.
At the end .of three weeks Marguerite prevails
upon the good old folks to invite company to
meet the Captain, their guest, at their house,
which is granted with some gruntings, provisos
and much ominous shakings of the head at the
possibility of supplying the comforts for the
Marguerite answers, that they '■ would make
it up by giving them a taste of Old Virginia
hospitality, and as most of the people were
South Carolinians, that they would be content
The eventful evening came at . last, and with
it to the hospitable mansion of Captain D ,
the elite of Columbia. Beauty, grace and ele-
gance of manner made up for the lack of gor-
geous costumes, and wit, music and the dance
148 From Dust to Ashes.
went merrily on until the wee small hours anent
But not entirely recovered from his hard
wrestle for recovery, Randolph, with Marguerite
leaning upon his arm, saunters into the sanctum
sanctorum of the Pater, who calls it his study,
where his most studious efforts are directed in
the extraction of as much enjoyment as possible
from a fine old meerschaum, now grown a beau-
tiful thing of colors. Thither also, the older
members of the throng masculine had come
for a friendly chat and a smoke.
Upon entering, a venerable gentleman arose,
and with the courtesy of the chivalrous of
bygone days, politely asks if smoking is offen-
Marguerite answers, k ' Not at all; do continue
smoking. I am accustomed to the smoke of
tobacco, good tobacco, at least, and my father
is too good a judge to offer you anything bad."
Continuing, the old gentleman, who proved to
be an attorney and resident of the City of
Charleston, says: "I am delighted to have the
pleasure of your company Miss Marguerite, and
quite as much so to see Captain Randolph, to
whom I extend my hearty congratulations for
his safe delivery from all his trials."
Randolph gracefully acknowledges the com-
pliment, and adds that he will soon be able to
Sherman's March to the Sea. 149
return to his command ; that Lee can spare not
a man; or, "mayhap, I maybe needed here, as
Sherman is turned loose without opposition."
A Colonel Stout, of militia fame, remarks:
"I notice that the march to Atlanta by Sher-
man is wn fait accompli, and now that Hood is
away up north, may not this man with his im-
mense army take it into his head to march east
and then northwardly, and lay waste the
This suggestion or question creates a diversity
of opinion, some asserting that Sherman would
have to move back to look after Hood, which
was Mr. Davis' idea, when he sent a soldier to
replace Joe Johnston, who would strike a
" manly blow," and who struck it at Franklin.
But old Gleneral Marcellus Brown here inter-
posed his opinion: u No, sir; no, sir; Sher-
man will come right on. He's got skilled engi-
neers and constructors who will build roads
faster than we can destroy them, and thousands
of our negroes will assist them; and who can
pilot them better than the black rascals, who
know every foot-path."
Col. Stout ventilates his patriotic estimation
of the " sacred soil of Carolina," and cannot
bring his mind to consider the possibility of its
profanation by the incendiary bummers of
150 From Dust to Ashes.
Seated, conspicuously in the midst of the group
is an officer of the Confederate army, whose
bright and unsoiled uniform, fair face and
immaculate linen, are proofs positive against
any charge of contact with war's rude bufferings;
but bolstered by the kinsmanship of a power
near the throne, usurps the place of men more
deserving and better fitted for the duties incum-
bent upon him. Clearing his throat and waving
out his dexter hand, he parades his views as fol-
lows: "At headquarters, I find a general dis-
belief of any foolhardy invasion of our country ;
we are entirely too far in the interior. I recently
had the pleasure of a stroll with a visitor, or rather
a refugee from Chattanooga, who gave Sherman
but poor credit as a leader, and his army as
merely a disorganized mob of bummers. He
was highly pleased at the disposition of our
means of defense, as well as of our forces; all
of which I took the trouble to show and explain
to him, and er — er — by-the-by " (with the most
insinuating smile at having done so much for
his friend ) ' ' he spoke of you most kindly, Cap-
tain Randolph, and said that you would be glad
to hear from him, and made me the bearer of
his greetings and best wishes for your welfare
" I did not understand the name," remarks
Randolph Heats of Van Horton. 151
" Horton — Oh! yes, Van Horton, of Chatta-
nooga," answers the Adjutant.
11 Allow me then to say, Adjutant," answers
Randolph, whose flashing eyes and contracted
brows gave evidence of the awakening of the
lion in the man, " that your news is as disagree-
able as it is unexpected, and that your protege
is an unrelenting enemy to our country; a
robber by taste and profession, false to you as
he was false to his own family. Your acts of
courtesy and hospitality were simply wasted upon
Picture if you can, the surprise and mortifica-
tion of Adjutant Post, upon hearing the dread-
ful news. Embarrassed and confounded, the
holiday soldier leaves at the earliest opportunity,
and his absence enables the older heads to
ventilate their various disgusts of the recipient
of his knowledge of military facts.
To Marguerite it was nothing less than a
severe physical shock. u Van Horton here!"
the bete voir of the circle of friends in whose
safety and happiness her whole soul was con-
centrated. With a woman's watchful care of
the invalid one. Marguerite proposes to return
to the parlors, but her voice falls upon deaf ears,
and until her request is repeated, Randolph
arousing from his abstraction, apologizes for his
inattention and escorts her to her guests.
152 From Dust to Ashes.
The handsome couple had hardly left the
room before old General Marcellus Brown, with
a thump upon the table to emphasize what he
says: " That young man, Randolph, just suits
me; says little, and that little he says well; sun-
burned and scarred, he is the beau ideal of a
soldier. Did you see him look at that pudding-
head Post \ He looked more like an awe-ning
post when he left us."
"Oh, yes," says the host; "the men who
have trotted with Jackson and Lee over the
hills and vales of Virginia looking for fights,
finding and winning them without counting the
odds, are of just such stock. Now I, for one,
am a believer in stock. I have fine stock at
home, or did have until I gave them up to our
government: and let me tell you, that careful
breeding, training and handling are as essen-
tially necessary to man as to the horse or other
animal, and my opinion is that Post would have
to be born again to be able to touch elbows with
General Brown, laughing merrily, says : "Abe
Lincoln has set an example as a high breeder.
With a single dash of the pen he has created
men, free men; voters without an idea of gov-
ernment; jurymen without judgment; ignorant,
superstitious, and but a generation removed from
barbarism and cannibalism — all this with a dash
The Everlasting Negro. 153
of the pen, which it took our fathers centuries
of patient struggle, study and privation to
secure and to be qualified to maintain. Be it
distinctly understood, gentlemen," he goes on,
11 that I am not a lover of the institution of
slavery in the abstract, and recognize the love
of liberty which is implanted in the breast of
every living thing; yet this wholesale delivery,
this invitation to insurrection, murder and
arson, if not directly expressed, indirectly sug-
gested, burdens my mind with the belief that it
is the offspring of a cowardly brain, or a saving
expedient in a waning cause."
Our host, catching the infection, takes up the
subject as follows:
"Dropping the question of breeding, I have
read much and studied the everlasting negro, till
I am more convinced of his thorough unfitness
to occupy the position now designated for him
by the Lincoln proclamation ; an act of usurpa-
tion and vindictiveness ; 'the very quintescence
of malice, hatred and all uncharitableness. Gro
back in history, yes, even to the days of Pharaoh,
and we find him then what he is now. For
four thousand years he has held undisputed
possession of a continent, yet he has never made
a law; the whole race is guiltless of the creation
of any work of art, a statue, a painting, or a
monument. With the wisdom, science and ex-
154 From Dust to Ashes.
ample of every nation beaming upon them, it
has never penetrated their benighted haunts, nor
conquered their invincible ignorance. He is,
gentlemen, both morally and physically, a mys-
terious subject of Gi-od's unrelenting judgment,
incomprehensible as it is positive. In all past
time he has been a servant, a menial, and Abe
Lincoln and every other Lincoln on earth can
with all the appliances of law, philanthropy and
proclamation, only find him the same, either a
barber or in barbarism."
Having devoted this quantum of breath as a
kick and protest at old Abe's arbitrary move,
our host moves an adjournment to the society of
the ladies, and here they are met with news
which blanches the cheek of old and } T oung
alike; it is the announcement that Savannah
had fallen, and that Sherman, with an immense
army, having plundered all the helpless old
women and children in a march through a thinly
settled country, with no opposing army, had
formed a junction with the Federal fleet off that
harbor, and had simply crowded out General
Hardee with his few Confederate regiments.
This wondrous achievement over hen-roosts
and helpless barnyards is yclept, after the maud-
lin sentimentality of a fawning press, "Sher-
man's March to the Sea," and which affords a
vent for patriotic Yankee schoolmarms by con-
'Randolph Breams. 155
tributing that operatic homily for school and
church festivals entitled, "Marching Thro',
The entertainment in honor of our hero, was
a perfect success as a social gathering, Randolph
meeting with many old friends among the ladies
and among the cripples now occupying places re-
quiring only easy service. But between the un-
pleasant introduction of Van Horton's name by
Adjutant Post, and the news of the capture of
Savannah, our hero retired, wondering "what
would happen next?" but soon fell asleep to
dream of "that fool, Post," verifying the truth
of the adage, that we dream of that which is last
upon the mind before sleeping.
156 From Dust to Ashes.
Right well did the gentleman from Chattanooga,
the ''so-called" refugee Van Horton, accomplish
his mission. Relying upon his knowledge of the
generous and unsuspicious hospitality of the
Southern people, he found it no difficult matter
to return directly to the advancing Yankee army,
which he overtook just before its capture of
His mission had been crowned with success,
and his heart fairly leaped with joy at the knowl-
edge of the solid reward which would inure to
his credit for so meritorious a service in behalf
of his commander.
Following him to his quarters, we find a merry
crowd assembled under the shadow of a large
"fly" which was raised in front of the tent, and
served the purpose of mess-room, being supplied
with camp-table and chairs.
The tent was pitched under a lovely old "live
oak," whose garment of long, sweeping moss
waved gently in the passing breeze.
Having just arrived after a long and danger-
ous trip, and an almost equally fatiguing search
for his quarters, Van Horton, after dismounting,
Vom Morton's Mission Done. 157
threw the rein in a careless manner to a negro
boy, one of the many thousand following in the
wake of Sherman's army, and bidding him to
rub well, water and feed, dismissed all other
considerations of horse or negro, and joins the
mess, where he is received with many hand-
shakes, many questions, with heavy slaps upon
the shoulder, and last but not least, a pressing
injunction to ''drink, old fellow, it'll do you
good. ' '
" Say, fellows, what in the deuce could influ-
ence an officer of the rank of colonel to take the
chances of VanHorton's ride, unless there was a
woman in the case!" Thus speaks one Lieu-
" Oh, bosh! I can measure a man better than
that," says Captain Burke, "for Van don't
smile, and grin, and dawdle around. Look at
him now. Don't you see confidence in his face?
He is plump full of valuable information. Now
catch on, and see if I am not right."
" Never mind a leetle about drawing dose
conclusions, shentlemens," says Captain Grlas-
sick, a jolly fat German with a jolly red nose;
"youst eferybody fill up, undt let's drink a
bumper to the arrival in der fold of our long
lost sheeps," (and with military precision every
glass is drained), and still standing, the rubi-
cund German says: "Stand steady, shentle-
158 From Bust to Ashes.
raans; undt come here, you black rascal, and
make fill dose glasses;" and continuing, he
says: "Dot poy makes homesick mineself, for
when he's aroundt I have dot odor of dose
limberger mitoudt de beer, undt so I was all
broke oudt. Now, shentlemans, I gifs a dost to
dot fair lady I was entertaining yesterday and to
the gallant officer she was looking for."
With a clatter of glasses, a smacking of lips
and many ejaculations, of " Oh ! " l ' Oh ! " " Oh ! "
the rotund Dutchman subsided, puffed up with
the vanity of the possession of knowledge un-
known to his comrades, and the anxiety to own
the possession whereof would make him the
center of a fire of inquiries, direct, plunging
and cross, as to who she was, who she was
looking for, etc.
While all was eagerness, their senses already
inflamed by the liquor consumed, there was one
who made no effort to find out by inquiry, for
his mind was too intent upon the eager inward
discussion as to "which one" it could be.
The phlegmatic Teuton smoked his pipe and
smiled calmly at the wrangle, but never turned
his gaze once upon Van Horton to signify that
probably that it was he for whom the search was
In an instant the babel of voices is
hushed, for, at a short distance from cam}) is
Miss F Appears. 159
discerned a lady rapidly approaching, sitting
her horse with ease and grace, a jaunty little
jockey-cap decorating her head, and long, dark
green riding-skirt streaming in the wind, as her
dashing sorrel sweeps along with light, springing
Every man stops still ; every one looks at one
object. None know the coming equestrienne but
one, and he, Van Horton, rising hurriedly,
advances to meet her; courteously he salutes
her, and leading her horse conducts the visitor
to the "fly," and ceremoniously introduces
Miss F as a vision of loyalty to the flag of
This is followed by more wine, and we are
sorry to confess is participated in by Miss F ,
who, possessed of every other attribute to make
a fast woman, finds no trouble to add a decided
taste for exhilerating drinks. In her most win-
ning manner Miss F , addressing Van Horton,
asks: "Tell us what you have done, and what
you know, for we are dying to hear."
"You will hear soon euough," answers Van
Horton, "and headquarters shall be the first to
hear-, and as we have had our little recreation
here, and you are well prepared, I will order my
horse, ride over and report."
The Commander-in-Chief received Van Horton
with expressions of marked gratification, and
160 From Dust to Ashes.
with closed doors his report was taken in detail.
And as the weakness of resistance; the utter
absence of men and means of defense ; the un-
protected homesteads, easy subjects for rapine
and plunder, because occupied only by the help-
less of both sexes, was shown in detail of the
route northward via Columbia, Sherman's joy
was boundless, and Van Horton was dismissed
with words of gratitude and promises, which
filled his breast with happy and buoyant hopes.
And from this moment begins the preparation
for a movement which is to be quick and deci-
sive. Within three days the whole army was
under arms, and, crossing the Savannah river,
moved northwardly in the direction of Columbia,
the capital of the State of South Carolina.
Wonderful Nature. 161
How wonderful are the powers of nature; in
number without limit, in active operation in
every phase of existence, animate and inanimate.
One of the most intricate powers of nature is
the mind of man. It is a store-house from
which is drawn all that goes to make the wealth
and happiness of the world, or that which brings
ruin and despair to infinite numbers. While it
makes the law, it breaks it and defies it. It de-
fines the right, and is quick to aid the wrong.
It is a worker of miracles. It has taught us to
ride upon the winds; to whisper in the ear of
our friends an hundred miles away; to write with
the lightning's flash, and even to control the
mind of others; but there is one power which,
if ever given, is evidently lost — that of controll-
ing ones own mind.
Thus it was with Randolph ; sleeping or wak-
ing, his mind would dwell upon Van Horton's
visit to Columbia. "What was he there for?
Was he shadowing his movements, and was he,
too, included in his scheme for vengeance, be-
cause of his kinship! or was he simply a spy,
and Post the dupe of his machinations?"
162 From Dust to Ashes.
Such was the state of his mind, that, coupled
with his physical weakness, the hope of a speedy
return to camp seemed to diminish, and his
future to assume the form of a settled gloom.
This gloom had no silver lining, the smiles
and happy presence of the lovely Marguerite,
now dimly seen, seemed not able to dispel the
It was a bright, sunny day, although it was
crisp and cold out of doors ; the family had par-
taken of a late dinner, and a bright, cheerful
fire of wood burned upon the hearth of the par-
lor; and as Marguerite sat in a cosey arm-chair
near the sofa, where Randolph reclined in a
musing, pensive manner, so occupied was he in
his own thoughts, which were none of the
brightest, that the look of intense solicitude
which was fixed upon him by Marguerite was
entirely unnoticed, until Marguerite, remarking
an ugly frown upon Randolph's face, accom-
panied by a motion of the lips and an upraised
arm with a clenched hand, abruptly broke the
the silence by asking: "Kind sir, are you quar-
reling with me, or am I to be the sole audience
to your pantomimic program?"
Roused from his revery, Randolph answers as
if awakened from a dream: tl Mille pardons,
mctmselle! I was ruminating, reviewing my
troubles. Between my impotence, loss of kin,
"A Lovers' Quarrel" 163
friends, home, the curse of Van Horton, the
vindietiveness of Miss F — , and last but not
least, my separation from my command, I feel as
if I was undergoing the agony of being drowned
in a sea of troubles."
"Then my company goes for naught," says
she.. "Who nursed you back to life, 0, base
Upon his essaying to speak, smilingly, she
shakes her finger at him and bids him to "repent
and say something nice and pretty, something
penetential, to show at least that the sense of
gratitude is not entirely dead within you."
"My dear, I plead guilty to any charge of
poverty of language to express, and my inability
to repay you for your unselfish and untiring
efforts in my behalf when so ill. May Heaven
bless you, sweet one; but ungrateful — never!
We have never had what others so often seem to
crave, 'a lovers' quarrel,' and with God's help
we never shall ; but you must bear now with my
depression, for I have for several days felt a
sense of impending danger, an incubus of
trouble, which I cannot account for, nor can I
throw it aside."
"It is perfectly natural for morbid ideas to
pervade the mind, when sickness seizes the
body ; or, perhaps, you may find some relief by
piling the blame upon that poor, patient, and
164 From Dust to Ashes.
long-suffering member — the liver!" answers
"No," answers Randolph, "my thoughts do
not seem the offshoot of anything morbid, nor
even the result of a torpid liver; it is, or will be,
all, I fear, but too real; and now please"
There is a pause, for there came a loud ringing
of the front door-bell, which cut short any further
conversation, and in a few moments a servant
annouced a lady, much to the surprise of both.
Marguerite saw before her timidly advancing,
a woman of lithesome figure, with hair, eyes
and complexion filling all the requisites of ;i
pronounced blonde; whose carriage betokened
a courage begotten of pride and right, but
whose sombre dress and wan and troubled ex-
pression appealed at once to the heart for aid,
comfort and protection.
Being seated, she handed Marguerite a note,
remarking as she did so that she was happy and
grateful to be the bearer of a missive from a dear
friend, Miss Sadie Carday, now visiting at
Washington, D. C, who so kindly volunteered
to introduce herself, who was en route south in
search of her husband, now Colonel Van Horton,
of the United States Army.
Here was a revelation, and with Randolph,
adding another stigma to the already stigmatized
A Letter From Sadie. 165
An expert mind reader would have found a
task of extraordinary application, or perhaps
would have been paralyzed at the expressions of
amazement, sorrow, contempt and anger which.
pervaded the countenances of these three per-
sons as they stood for a moment silently gazing
at one another.
"Please excuse me,' 7 remarks Marguerite in
her most courteous manner, u while I read
Sadie's letter," which was as follows:
Washington, D. C, Jan. 15, 1865.
My Dear Marguerite — This will be handed to you by
Mrs. Van Horton (really Mrs. A. Van Horton Darke), a
native of England, in search of her husband, and who
deserves all your sympathy as a true woman, and the inno-
cent sufferer through the misdeeds of a heartless wretch.
She seeks not her husband to regain him, but for a pur-
pose dearer to a mother's heart — to secure her child, taken
from her in England, and who is reported to be with Van
H , or near him, under the charge of a Miss F or
Mrs. Van Horton. Give her all the help and comfort you
can. We caught up with Van Horton here, but when we
thought we had him, he gave us the slip.
Nothing in this contraband, and a wounded and paroled
prisoner kindly promised to see Mrs. Van H through
Love and blessings.
The elegance of manner, together with the
friendless and pitiful condition of the poor
stranger, was an impetus to each to suggest the
166 From Dust to Ashes.
best and surest method of finding the wretched
Randolph, however, with a soldier's suspicion,
asks: "Why, Madam, did you not go direct by
the Yankee route, as by following it you can
more rapidly accomplish your purpose?"
With fiery energy, she answers: "I have no
sympathy with the man or his cause ; I desire
only to meet, not to follow him."
So earnest were they, that it was late when
Mrs. Van Horton (as we shall call her) took her
leave, promising to return early the next morn-
ing and endeavor to secure passes from General
Beauregard, now in command, and proceed to
Savannah, via Augusta.
The next morning was ushered into life with a
sun beaming with a beauteous luxuriousness al-
most preternatural, and as the rays came slant-
ing in its first efforts to kiss the tops of the
leafless trees, and warm with its sunny breath
tlit- frosts of night, every housetop in the City of
Columbia seemed to reflect the glory of the god
The beautiful city awoke to life, and, in the
happy sunshine, the citizens engaged in their
usual routine of business — thought not of mur-
der, rapine and arson.
It was about 3 o'clock p. m., of the 15th of
February, 1865, when a drooping, hard-ridden
A Courier Arrives. 167
horse came slowly over the old, wooden bridge,
spanning the Congaree river, bearing a cavalry-
man, dusty and weary. A frank, handsome face,
heavily moustached ; broad shouldered, and with
an old slouch hat cocked rakishly upon one side,
he seemed the beau ideal of a man to trust upon
a mission where danger required a quick eye, a
strong arm, and plenty of nerve.
The rider knew his horse, for he was a part of
him. The poor, dumb brute had served his
master well; and, best of all, his master knew it,
and loved him for it ; and now, having passed
the bridge and climbed the ascent to the railway,
even passing the old freight-house, soon to be
blown to atoms, our wearied horseman straight-
ened up in his saddle, his animal felt the move-
ment, and, quickly responding, hastened his
pace, and soon he is at the door of the Mcker-
son, where G-eneral Beauregard had established
Very soon it transpires that this man has
brought the message that Sherman, with his
whole army, was in full inarch upon the helpless,
The news was soon spread throughout the city,
and many refugees, who had secured homes
here, made haste again to decamp.
Many of all classes determined to brave it out.
Their means were exhausted by the war, and
168 From Dust to Ashes.
they had no place to retreat, nor means of sus-
tenance if they did.
Many prepared to leave, not earing to trust to
the tender mercies of a foe who had plundered
and burned a path through the unprotected
homes and fields of helpless old men and inno-
On the arrival of Mrs. Van Horton, she found
the whole house in confusion.
Randolph had gone to the front, with a few
government clerks, some cavalry, and what was
termed Home Gruards (for the sake of euphony),
but Marguerite was determined to stand her
ground, and Mrs. Van H. was equally deter-
mined to cast her lot with her.
A widespread gloom settled down upon the
whole city, and a hopeless resignation seemed to
pervade the homes of all.
To those who had counted upon the magnan-
imity of the foe — "Sleep on; sleep for a little
while ! ' ' — there will be a sad awakening, for
there comes a hero (God save the mark) who
has declared that "Columbia is as bad as Charles-
ton," and that "Salt would hardly be necessary
to sow upon its ruins."
Oh, brutal man! Is this the reward of one T
trusted, honored, and placed in the highest po-
sition of a generous and unsuspecting people!
The Enemy Appears. 169
On the next afternoon, the 16th day of Febru-
ary, 1865, looking across the Congaree river to
the hills about a mile beyond, there came borne
upon the air the usual prelude of an advance,
the "pop! pop! pop!" of the skirmish line.
The evening was far advanced when the firing
increased; and very soon could be seen a long,
irregular line of ununif ormed men swaying across
an old field between two lines of trees. No
flashing battle-flags to cheer the heart or to greet
the eye; no veterans were there, only hastily
improvised two-legged obstacles, which only
With what thoughts did each one regard this
panorama, as Marguerite and her guest watched
the exciting but hopeless scene!
Soon darkness settled over the scene, and
with burning stores and cotton, the movement
of troops, principally cavalry, the sad hearts of
the populace wore out a sleepless night, but
scarcely realized a foretaste of the dreadful ex-
perience in store for them.
The next day, February 17th, the Federal
troops threw their shells into the city, and with-
170 From Dust to Ashes.
out opposition, marched in and took possession,
Sherman marking his supereillious entry by his
vulgar discourtesy to the Mayor, who met him
The terrible day wore away into the darkness
of the night. The helpless, young and old, now
worn with watching and dreading the vengeance
of the oppressor, were suddenly aroused to
anxious wakefulness by the cry of "fire! fire!"
Soon the city was illumined by the flames
arising simultaneously from different points of
the compass. The residents then saw and felt
The flames spread rapidly from house to
house; drunken soldiers looted ad libitum. Men,
women and children rushed hither and thither,
frantic with fear; or, over-eager to save their
property, lost all by attempting to appease the
rapacity of their despoilers by offering a part.
Some to seek safety from personal harm, lifted
the sick upon cots and litters to the middle of
the street, where the full view of the terrible
scene made the hope of safety mockery by add-
ing horror to danger.
The Carnival of Arson and Deviltry went on
in every form of crime known to rapine, robbery,
lust and vengeance.
Marguerite and her guest were so paratyzed
with fear that neither could realize the extent of
Columbia in Flames. 171
the conflagration, as the place was filled with
soldiers in every phase of temper and intoxica-
tion, either burning or stealing.
The fire went on in its consuming course, near-
ly destroying the beautiful city by sweeping away
everything from the State House on the south to
the distance of about one mile northwardly ; and
what had once been thickly studded with hand-
some and substantial brick buildings, occupied as
stores, offices, hotels, etc., was one solid ruin:
and on each side a distance of from one to three
blocks thoroughly Shermanized.
Could Sherman have ever seen the order of
the Christian soldier, which we so proudly here
"Headquarters, Army Northern Virginia,
"Chambersburg, Pa., June 27, 1863.
"It niust be remembered that we make war only upon
armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the
wrongs our people have suffered without lowering our-
selves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited
by the attrocities of our enemy, without offending against
Him to whom vengeance belongeth; without whose favor
and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The Com-
manding General, therefore, earnestly exhorts the troops
to abstain, with most scrupulous care, from unnecessary or
wanton injury to private property, etc.
"R. E. Lee, General."
The night wore slowly away, the breeze stir-
ring the flickering ernbers, and the smoke still
172 From Dust to Ashes.
hovering over the crumbling ruins. Worn out
with the bacchanalian orgies of the night, and
weary and weighted with plunder, the soldiers
slept until the day again broke over a city con-
quered, plundered, and in ashes.
Having satisfied his burning desire to take the
city, Sherman had also satisfied his desire to
burn it, and now he began his march to leave
the ashes of the mighty camp-fire of his ven-
So horror-struck with the reckless destruction
of private property, and a witness of the crimes
and excesses committed by the bummer troops,
too horrible to relate, Mrs. Van Horton was loath
to trust her presence to the tender mercies of
the inarching army.
Believing that Randolph's physical condition
would soon force him back, or that he would
soon return to relieve their necessities, as they
were despoiled of the very necessities of life and
would starve without help, Marguerite advised a
patient wait for his arrival.
On the day of Sherman's entry into the city,
Randolph joined a body of cavalry under Gen-
eral H , at Littleton, seven miles north of
Columbia, as a volunteer, and proceeded with
them to Newberry, to assist in driving off de-
tached bands of Yankee raiders.
Hearing early of the destruction of Columbia,
Randolph Returns to Columbia. 173
lie secured supplies immediately, and took the
main road going down the valley of the Saluda
river, his wagon heavily laden with provisions
for the now destitute citizens.
From Newberry to Columbia is about forty
miles, and along the entire route Randolph saw
naught but ashes and a widespread desolation.
Where but a few days before stood the happy
homes of helpless youth and defenceless age,
there stood only the bare chimneys, the silent,
solemn monuments marking the path of plunder,
arson, rape and wanton destruction.
The silent ruin nevertheless spoke to the heart,
and Randolph was oppressed beyond measure.
He had participated in all the campaigns in
Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania where sol-
dier met soldier armed and equipped for battle ;
where fields were covered with the dead and dy-
ing, victims of war's insatiate thirst for blood;
yet never before had such a cruel and relentless
exhibition of uncivilized and barbarous warfare,
and desecration of the property and sacred rights
of non-combatants met his gaze before.
Time, time cures many a rugged wound; and
it is well said that he who forgives not, breaks
down the bridge over which he must cross ; but
in future time, when the truth of history will be
known, will it not be a blight upon a hero's ( ?)
escutcheon, to stand convicted as the author and
174 From Dust to Ashes.
abettor of such infamy.' And in an age like
this, the age of steam and electricity, the Nine-
teenth Century, the apotheosis of civilization!
Crossing the river to the Columbia side, Ran-
dolph wended his way through the burnt district
to the home of Marguerite, and to his mortifica-
tion found her absent, but was solaced by the
joy of her father, who was rapturous in his praise
of the timely arrival, claiming that he had re-
versed the parable of the Prodigal Son.
No time was to be lost ; people were in want
of the necessaries of life, and old Captain Darl-
ington claimed that he had in no wise left his
code of Old Virginia hospitality behind him.
Not forgetting the venerable Doctor who had
attended him when so near death's door, Ran-
dolph desired to supply him first. Upon arriv-
ing at his gate he went no further, for there was
not a vestige of his pretty home.
The Doctor was a man of noble physique,
noble in character and striking in appearance —
a man who stood first in his profession in the
city and the State — and his home was the fruits
of a lifetime of laborious service.
Decorating the walls of his mansion were the
pictured forms and faces of those who had fig-
ured in the history of their country's glory; of
a son who was slain in the celebrated charge of
the Carolina troops in the bloody battle of
s ■• -.
RANDOLPH MEETS THE DOCTOR.
A SHERMAN MONUMENT.
The Venerable Physician. 175
Buena Vista in Mexico, and whose name is em-
blazoned upon the pedestal of the bronze Pal-
metto monument in the Capitol grounds of
While Randolph contemplated the sad scene,
the old Doctor came along, simply from force of
habit, and espied his patient, and with the same
calm demeanor which always characterized him
expressed his happiness in beholding his im-
proved condition. Not one word of complaint
passed the old man's lips, though homeless and
suffering from hunger.
Randolph, clasping his hand, said: "Doctor,
you have my heartfelt sympathy, and I have
come as your temporary commissary and desire
to issue rations."
" Thanks, Captain; many thanks. Your ar-
rival is very opportune; my children and or-
phan grandchildren are sorely in need. You
see our shelter is gone and our rations went at
the same time."
''Tell me, Doctor, how they came to burn
your place — you, a much-needed man among
the sick, and a non-combatant?"
"Why they destroyed my premises, I cannot
tell ; how they did, I can. I was called away in
the very height of the conflagration to attend a
lady patient. I left my children and grand-
children with my housekeeper, (my wife being
176 From Dust to Ashes.
dead). I was absent about an hour, when upon
my return, I found my children shivering with
cold and fear upon the front porch, and a num-
ber of Federal soldiers moving up and down the
stairs, sacking the house. As I stepped upon
the porch a soldier went to the parlor door and
shook it (it being locked). He asked, 'What's
in here?' I, referring to my portraits, an-
swered, ' None but the dead. ' They then came
out upon the porch, threw inflammable liquid
upon the siding and floor, struck matches and
fired my home. I turned to my children and
said, 'Come.' We left and saved nothing, not
one single item."* And as they turned their
1 »acks upon the blackened ruins, they directed
their steps to the home of Marguerite.
To tell the truth, Randolph was thinking of
his darling little girl, but the good Doctor,
taking another view of his silence and abstrac-
tion, proceeded to say: "I will not revive sad
memories in my own breast, nor tire you with
the harrowing details of the night of the 17th of
February, 1865 ; they are known to our Father
in Heaven who hath said, ' vengeance is mine, I
will repay.' My dear Captain, crimes were com-
mitted too horrible to relate — excesses marked
by the cruel invention and barbarous vulgarity
of untamed savages."
Marguerite Saves her Jewels. 177
With this, the subject is dropped; for there
upon the veranda, in all the glory of her Con-
federate "Bee Store" calico, stood Marguerite,
whose smiling face was as radiant with happi-
ness as a heart rilled with love, satisfied and
glorified, could make it, awaiting the return of
her patient lo\ r er, now impatiently.
Catching the contagion, Randolph, feeling
quite as happy, and perhaps more so, cries out,
"Is it I or the rations!"
"The rations, of course, you darling old fel-
low," answers Marguerite. "You have come in
the nick of time. Although they did not burn
our home, they took all that we had, and turned
up the whole yard with their bayonets, seeking
for buried treasure. Bless your soul," laugh-
ingly, she says, "but are they not experts!
Not quite smart enough to get our little en-
gagement ring, with my few remaining articles
of jewelry; for my maid, Julia, lifted a fence-
post in the stableyard, and put back the
post upon my fortune, and lo! they are here,
And thus the afternoon passes away. The
kind, old Doctor had left several hours before;
tea had been served, and, as it was growing late,
the family were preparing to retire, when a mes
senger brought to Randolph a note from the
surgeon in charge of the hospital, asking his
178 From Dust to Ashes.
immediate attendance at the special request of
Mrs. Van Horton.
Donning his military overcoat, and looking
well to his " navy six," he soon found himself
at the office of the hospital, where an attendant
was awaiting to conduct him to the ward in
which the surgeon was engaged.
Proceeding thither, he was ushered into a
large, airy room, containing a single cot, upon
which a man was lying. Bending over him
stood the surgeon, while Mrs. Van Horton stood
near, holding a basin of water. To an old sol-
dier, it was evident they were dressing the
wounds of some unfortunate.
All was still — -no word was spoken — and the
little clock upon the mantel merrily clicked
away the minutes of time, careless of their value
to the patient, whether living or dying.
With a look of thanks from the woman, and
a nod of recognition from the doctor, Randolph
entered with noiseless steps, and looked down
upon the mangled form of Colonel Van Horton !
When Columbia had fallen into the hands of
the invaders, Sherman ordered the shot and
shell stored in the magazine of the State arsenal
on the hill, near the reservoir of the city, to be
loaded upon wagons and to be thrown into the
river, by a detail of forty or fifty men.
Van Horton was superintending the casting
A Hospital Scene. 179
of the shell into the Congaree river, when, by
some unaccountable mishap, an explosion oc-
curred, killing every man of the detail and fatally
wounding the officer ( Van H. ) in charge — liter-
ally annihilating soldiers, mules and wagons.*
Having accounted for Van Horton's condition,
we will proceed with our story.
The continued efforts of the surgeon, ably as-
sisted by the discarded wife, soon told upon the
suffering man, for, after a few moments, he
gradually aroused from his lethargy, coolly sur-
veyed his surroundings, and recognizing and
fixing his gaze upon the woman whom he had
so grievously wronged, faintly asked, "Is it pos-
Being moved by a sense of pity, the poor
woman approached the sufferer with tearful eyes
and outstretched arms, with an effort, once more
to press her head upon the bosom of him who
had pledged to love, honor and protect her, when
the door was suddenly opened from without, and,
like an apparition, a tall, handsome blonde, ele-
gantly attired, and leading a handsome boy of
six or seven years, glided into the room with al-
most abrupt haste, and with the manner and as-
surance of one both privilged and expected.
Not understanding anything of the history of
the parties here strangely met, the doctor, who
*True. D A— 12
180 From Dust to Ashes.
had been closely watching his patient, who de-
sired to meet with Randolph before bidding
farewell to earth, turned to Randolph, and was
almost startled by the expression of his face;
his hands were clenched, his eyes blazing with
wrath. What could have aroused such an exhi-
bition of anger and hate by the mer,e appearance
of a woman in the act of rendering a friendly
service to a suffering soldier? This was the
question that flashed through the doctor's mind.
Not long did he have to wait to have his ques-
tion solved. Thinking Randolph to be in Vir-
ginia with his command, Miss F , in her
haste scarcely noticed the presence of any one
except that of Van Horton and the surgeon
Closing his eyes upon her entrance, Van Hor-
ton's quietude, with that of everyone else,mad<'
the stillness of the room almost death-like, until
Mrs. Van Horton, who had stood spell-bound
upon the intruder's entrance, and had fixed a
long, loving look upon the child introduced,
gave a cry of joyful recognition, which startled
her hearers, and was strangely echoed through
the dimly lighted halls.
The scene which followed would require the
genius of an Edgar Allen Poe to present, for
what followed was beauty, deceit and sin en-
trapped, then expelled; hope, love and honor
"Forgive Me, Grace." 181
rewarded, and the heart made glad; and to the
now poor, helpless sufferer the knowledge of
G-od's good pledge "Vengeance is mine, I will
repay. ' '
The piercing cry had scarcely died away, when
Van Horton, stretching forth his right arm, the
only uninjured limb, and raising his head,
pointed to the child now in its mother's arms,
and said: " 'Tis hers — 1 — I have failed."
To Randolph — "You have her (pointing to
Miss F ) to thank for all my work of vicious
hate. I know that I have to die, and I want
your forgiveness. ' '
And to his wife, very feebly : "Can you forgive
The poor, heart-broken woman, wife-like,
forestalling his thoughts, even his desires, held
the child's quivering lips to his parting kiss, and
clasping the weary head to her bosom, saw and
felt the breath going by gasps from the poor,
shattered body, while Randolph held his hand
and assured him that he was forgiven, as he
hoped to be forgiven.
It was but a few moments when all was over,
and the little one fatherless.
During the death scene, Miss F had
weighed well that the meeting with Randolph
was not a matter of trifling interest, both on
account of her acts of a personal character,
182 From Bast to Ashes.
and her association as a unit in the invading
With that cat-like quietness and alertness
which characterized her movements, she disap-
peared unseen, nor was her departure noted or
cared for; like a cigar stump it was smoked out,
and the'remains went to the gutter; but in long
years after, the lightning of her unscrupulous
wrath flashed through sombre clouds of news-
In a few days Van Horton slept with the sod
above him, which he had so lately trod as con-
queror, his wife and little one awaiting a steamer
When Colonel Van Horton was picked up
after the explosion, with shattered limbs and
mortal wounds, the news traveled like a flash to
his camp quarters, where Miss F and his
child were cosily enjoying a siesta in the deserted
premises of a prominent refugee.
Leaving the child, she hurried to the scene of
devastation, to find that the Colonel had been
conveyed to the nearest hospital, which was in
use by the Confederates. Hastening thither,
she was informed that he was then unconscious,
and that his wounds were mortal. Tired and
depressed, she sat down by his cot to await the
return of consciousness.
Long did the moments seem, but at last there
Farewell Miss F . 183
came a long-drawn sigh, a moan of pain, as
nature came back to assert its claims and to
resent its abuse, and with lips contracted with
pain, received the kiss of his visitor.
Knowing his desperate condition, he said in a
" Gro, bring my boy, that I may see him once
more before I die.' 1 and acting promptly the
fear inspired by his words and his condition oper-
ating as an impetus to her movements, she hast-
ened away and soon accomplished her errand,
with the result already described. Ignorant of
the happenings while upon her errand, Miss
F , with her proverbial recklessness, rushed
into the presence of those who loathed her very
And now we relegate her to her bummer asso-
ciates, and waive her adieu forever, to resume
the thread of our story.
Randolph and Marguerite made frequent
tours about the city, and contributed in no
small manner toward the alleviation, if not the
relieving of the distress of many families.
Deep and bitter was the denunciation of Sher-
man for his inhuman barbarity in the unneces-
sary destruction of one of the fairest cities of
And now, thirty years after, let us pause for
a few moments to consider the facts in the noble
184 From Bust to Ashes.
effort to obtain the truth, of history, asserting
only what we know, and quoting from Sherman
himself, who tells of his cruel and unwarrant-
able crime of looting and burning Columbia.
In the Memoirs of W. T. Sherman, written
by himself, page 287, Vol. II., occurs these
words : " In my official report of this conflagra-
tion, I distinctly charged it to General Wade
Hampton, and confess I did so pointedly to
shake the faith of his people in him; for he was
in my opinion a braggart, and professed to be
the champion of South Carolina."
Was there ever a more puerile sentence writ-
ten than this — a spiteful, jealous, emanation of a
mimic historian l
If there was ever one name the least appli-
cable in the language of every people upon God's
earth, the name of braggart connected with that
of Hampton is the one. It may be handed
down only in Sherman's book, but an incendiary,
indicted by a civilized world, and proven by the
words of his own mouth, can never besmirch
the character of so gallant a gentleman.
Did Hampton's cotton and torch reach forty
miles, cross the Congaree and Saluda rivers, rest
for hours from its labor of love and affection to
his old friends, neighbors and kinsmen, and then
burn Columbia and despoil the home of his wife
Sherman Dissected. 185
Sherman burned Columbia — contemplated it,
and carried out his contemplation to the letter,
his denial to the contrary notwithstanding, and
his Memoirs prove the truth of the assertion.
See page 152, Volume II, to show his animus,
his incendiary propensity: "Until we repopulate
Georgia it is useless to occupy it, but by the
utter destruction of its roads, houses" (not its
armies), etc., * * * "we can make this inarch
and make Georgia howl."
Again, page 159, Volume II, "I sally forth to
ruin Georgia." Not one word of fighting — only
of the looting and barbarous destruction of the
homes of helpless non-combatants — old men,
women and children.
On entering South Carolina, in Sherman's
general order No. 120, page 175, Volume II, this
appears: "Section 5. To corps commanders
alone is entrusted the power to destroy houses."
Halleck wrote from the City of Washington,
December 18, 186-1 (see page 228, Volume II):
"Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by
some accident the place may be destroyed, and if
a little salt should be sown upon its site," etc.
To Halleck, in answer, Sherman writes (see
idem): "I will bear in mind your hint as to
Charleston, and do not think that salt will be
necessary. When I move, the Fifteenth Corps
will be on the right of the right wing, and their
186 From Dust to Ashes.
position will naturally bring them into Charles-
ton first, and if you have watched the history of
that corps, you will have remarked that they
generally do their work pretty well. The truth
is, the whole army is burning with an insatiable
desire to wreak vengeance on South Carolina. I
almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she de-
serves all that seems in store for her. I tool; upon
Columbia as quite as had as Charleston."
And true to his promise to Halleck, the Fif-
teenth Corps was the first to enter Columbia,
"which was quite as bad as Charleston;" the
"same accident" did occur, and the place was
laid in ashes.
How, in the face of all this, and thousands of
eye-witnesses, could Sherman have the unblush-
ing afirontery "to charge it to General Wade
To falsify his denial by an open and honest
confession, which, perhaps, he conceived, ac-
cording to the teachings of an old adage, would
work some benefit for his soul, was a crowning
act of his literary digest, and occurs on page
288, Volume II, of his Memoirs: "Having utterly
ruined Columbia, the right wing began its march
After maturing a march, poetically to the sea
(really against old men, women and children,
all helpless and defenseless), by a general order
The Great Lee. 187
systematically arranging details for marauding
and plunder, in the bitterness of his venom he
ruthlessly loots and burns, and, appalled at the
enormity of his crime, most lamely attempts to
shift the burden upon the shoulders of an hon-
Oh, no! General Sherman. Hampton was no
descendant of the burning race: nor was his
sword ever drawn upon old men, women and
children, but under his superior officer, the Great
Lee, he was expressly forbidden such, and, by
general order, reminded that " Vengeance was
only the prerogative of his Maker. ' '
Apropos just here, a little incident we beg to
mention — a jewel worth unveiling.
When Barksdale's sharpshooters, before Fred-
ericksburg, destroyed the pontooniers, and im-
peded the construction of the pontoon bridge, it
so provoked the general of side-whiskers fame —
the Bur aside — that forgetting the men with arms
in their hands, he turned one hundred and forty-
seven pieces of artillery upon the devoted city,
driving hundreds of women and children from
their homes, to wander over the frozen highway,
thinly clad, and knowing no place of refuge,
their miserable path lighted up by the lurid glare
of their own homes and the bursting shells of
one hundred a»tl forty-seven guns.
General Lee grimly watched the painful spec-
188 From Dust to Ashes.
tacle from a redoubt, silently noting the wanton
destruction; then gravely turning to those near
him, remarked: " These people delight to de-
stroy the weak and those who can make no de-
fense ; it just suits th cm . ' '
Let this be Sherman's epitaph.
We honor men like Grant ; cool in the midst
of all troubles, honorable and just in his deal-
ings, a hero who faced death on a hundred bat-
tlefields, and twice on his bed of sickness ; a sol-
dier who sought his armed enemy and gave him
battle — all honor to the noble warrior! The
prayers of every good soldier goes up to the
great, White Throne for such as him. But
Sherman! — and his march to the sea — from all
such, " Good Lord deliver us," is a fixture in
With an armed force of one hundred and
twelve thousand men; more than Hood, Beaure-
gard, Hardee, Johnston and Lee combined,
with no army to oppose ; only the frightened
faces of old men, women and children, with a
finale of a grand negro round-up — this, O, shades
of Ca?sar! is the theme of paeans of u Sherman's
March to the Sea!"
After the War. 189
Six months have elapsed since the events last re-
lated occurred. War-clouds have rolled by, and
the sun of peace is shining down upon a coun-
try whose people are once more engaged in
the pursuits of industry and commerce.
Now and then a crutch or an empty sleeve,
brings back the remembrance of the din and
carnage of battle, bat the bummers of the camps
are loath to quit their occupation, and have now
become the bummers of politics.
Under the name of reconstruction, the South
is undergoing a moral trial from which she
emerged with shorn locks but with spirits re-
newed, with rejuvenated vigor, with a healthy,
And now, as the leaves are beginning to be
tinged by the chilling touch of frost, when the
fall roses are unfolding their fresh, sweet buds
to greet the sunbeams and cheer the heart and
eye of man; when the robins come trooping
with their happy chirps overhead, filling the
tree-tops with their welcome voices; just in this
time and season we find the same two persons
in the same garden, at the same spot, as when
190 From Dust to Ashes.
long months ago we found them, after their
eventful boat ride.
Then, it was on the eve of a departure upon
an errand of grim-visaged war; but now it is
upon the eve of quite a different journey.
A journey of life — for now, after so many
years of faithful waiting, Marguerite and Ran-
dolph are to be united in the holy bonds of
And here, among so many kindred and friends,
there were but few houses where the one impor-
tant subject was not discussed in every phase
conceivable and inconceivable, from cellar to
garret, and from kitchen to stable.
Old Captain Darlington and his good Virginia
wife were proud of their children and of him to be
numbered among them, and were determined
that the temporary dwelling of balloon construc-
tion, (his beautiful home having been burned by
Hunter's forces in his raid) should be no draw-
back upon the celebration of these nuptials,
which should partake of all the forms and fest-
ivities of an old-fashioned Virginia wedding.
The days have gone by, and old Time has
sprinkled our heads with frosty marks of his
seasons passed, but never will he be able, with
all his chilly breath, to cool or dim the remem-
brance of that happy event.
The sun had set in a clear, blue sky, and the
Wedding Guests. 191
quivering leaves of fall barely felt the passing
breeze; the stars looked down, twinkling, from
their dark, blue canopy, and all was peace —
peace, sweet peace.
All hearts thronging there were happy, and
nature inanimate seemed in glorious unison with
nature animate. The very barking of the dogs,
scurrying through the lane, seemed happy and
Up among the grove of trees, there streamed
a flood of light through every window. Many
of the old servants, surfeited with a few months
of philanthropic Yankee servitude, were back
at home, and by the antics of the picaninnies,
and the "hi-hi's" and "yah! yah's!" of their
elders, accompanied by the arrival of buggies,
carriages, and every other vehicle owned or ob-
tainable, created a pandemonium of joyous con-
Kindred met kindred, after years of absence
in camp or prison. Old friends came from the
valleys of the James, the Shenandoah and the
Beautiful women, whose dear hands had so
lately smoothed the brows of dying soldiers, 01
cheered their lovers in their devotion to their
country, were there.
Grive me for courage, hospitality and the true
temper of the patriotic Roman matron, the
192 From Bust to Ashes.
woman of blessed Old Virginia ! Glorious old
Mother, the synonym of heroine !
The clock had just chimed the hour of ten,
when the minister of God, robed in the surplice
of his holy office, made his appearance in their
midst, prepared to perform the functions of his
A grim smile wreathed the face of many an
old soldier. He pictured in his mind the slight
contrast of another occasion, wherein our same
surpliced minister, officiating in another capac-
ity, upon the historic field of Manassas, turned
loose his artillery with the benediction, "and
may the Lord have mercy upon their souls! "
There was a stillness of expectant surprise,
when the curtains were drawn aside, nor were
their expectations disappointed, for as Margue-
rite stood leaning upon the arm of the gallant
Randolph, never was beauty more radiantly
Decked with the simplicity of a village maiden,
no queen, with all the robes of state and jewels
of a nation's vaults, could excel the wealth of
beauty, of form and of feature, and of the luxu-
rious gifts of nature's own hands; as the loving
pair stood and pledged their troth, and received
the benediction of the brave old minister of
It is years since that event, and now far
They Are One. 193
away west of the Mississippi river, Randolph
watches the playful antics of a smaller Sadie,
and a Lawrence, too, and often reminds Mar-
guerite that when he shook the dust of the
Institute from his feet he dreamed but little of
finding his fair bride among the ashes of Colum-
bia, and his nuptials over the ashes of her
THE LIBRARY OF THE